18th/19th century English philosopher and legal scholar, an early proponent of utilitarianism


Jeremy Bentham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Jeremy Bentham ... (February 15, 1748 - June 6, 1832) was an English gentleman, jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He is best known as an early advocate of utilitarianism and animal rights, who influenced the development of liberalism. ..."


15 Feb 1748, in Spitalfields, London


6 Jun 1832, in London


Who Was Jeremy Bentham?
University College London, Bentham Project

Web Sites

UCL Bentham Project
University College London


Bentham, by John Stuart Mill, London and Westminster Review, Aug 1838
Opens by contrasting Bentham as a Progressive and Coleridge as a Conservative, then proceeds to examine and criticise Bentham philosophical method, and then his theories of life, law, government and utility
"He was a man both of remarkable endowments for philosophy, and of remarkable deficiencies for it; fitted, beyond almost any man, for drawing from his premises, conclusions not only correct, but sufficiently precise and specific to be practical; but whose general conception of human nature and life furnished him with an unusually slender stock of premises."
Reasoning on the Nature of Things, by Clarence B. Carson, The Freeman, Feb 1982
"Jeremy Bentham said of those who believed in natural law that they 'take for their subject the pretended law of nature; an obscure phantom, which in the imaginations of those who go in chase of it, points sometimes to manners, sometimes to laws; sometimes to what law is, and sometimes to what it ought to be.'"
The Courts and the New Deal, Part 1, by William L. Anderson, Future of Freedom, Jun 2005
"Perhaps it is deeply ironic that in 1776, the same year the Declaration of Independence was written, the 'champion' of modern law made his own intellectual debut in England. Jeremy Bentham, who sat in Blackstone's Oxford lectures as a student, penned an anonymous attack on Blackstone entitled 'A Fragment on Government.'"
Related Topic: William Blackstone