Bentham Project

An Introduction to the Rationale of Evidence

The text of Introduction to the Rationale of Evidence was first published, in a heavily edited version, as An Introductory View of the Rationale of Evidence in the 1843 Bowring edition of Bentham's works. The text has a composite history: the first twelve chapters were printed off under James Mill's direction in 1812 but the rest remained in the manuscript form in which it had been composed during the years 1811-12 despite Bentham's efforts to get it published in 1818 and again in 1823-4.

Covering much the same ground as the fuller text edited by John Stuart Mill in 1827 as The Rationale of Judicial Evidence, it was planned by Bentham as a summary of the argument in that more extensive work as the earlier titles Introductory or Prospective View indicate. It was however composed some six years or so after the bulk of the work on the larger treatise had been completed in 1806 and contains some extended discussions which go beyond the functions of a summary.

Andrew Lewis