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"Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign
masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we
do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard
of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are
fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say,
in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection,
will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend
to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain. subject to it
the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes
it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear
fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt
to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead
reason, in darkness instead of light."
"Priestley was the first (unless it was Beccaria) who taught
my lips to pronounce this sacred truth:-That the greatest happiness of
the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation."
from Bentham's Commonplace Book' The
Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the superintendence
Bowring, 11 vols., (Edinburgh: Tait, 1843) vol.
x., p. 142.
"... the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry." The Rationale of Reward, (1825)
Here is the full paragraph from which the quotation is taken:
"The utility of all these arts and sciences,-I speak both of those of amusement
and curiosity,-the value which they possess, is exactly in proportion to the
pleasure they yield. Every other species of preeminence which may be attempted
to be established among them is altogether fanciful. Prejudice apart, the game
of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry.
If the game of push-pin furnish more pleasure, it is more valuable than either.
Everybody can play at push-pin: poetry and music are relished only by a few.
The game of push-pin is always innocent: it were well could the same be always
asserted of poetry. Indeed, between poetry and truth there is natural opposition:
false morals and fictitious nature. The poet always stands in need of something
false. When he pretends to lay has foundations in truth, the ornaments of his
superstructure are fictions; his business consist in stimulating our passions,
and exciting our prejudices. Truth, exactitude of every kind is fatal to poetry.
The poet must see everything through coloured media, and strive to make every
one else do the same. It is true, there have been noble spirits, to whom poetry
and philosophy have been equally indebted; but these exceptions do not counteract
the mischiefs which have resulted from this magic art. If poetry and music deserve
to he preferred before a game of push-pin, it must be because they are calculated
to gratify those individuals who are most difficult to be pleased."
for The Rationale of Reward OnLine
Two quotations on publicity
It appears that the following quotations have been much borrowed and often run together since they were quoted together (along with a third Bentham quotation about publicity and justice), albeit with appropriate quotation marks between them to indicate each was separate, by Lord Shaw of Dunfermline in Scott (otherwise Morgan) v Scott,  AC 417.
"In the darkness of secrecy,
sinister interest and evil
in every shape, have full swing. Only in proportion as publicity
has place can any of
the checks, applicable to judicial injustice, operate. Where there
is no publicity
there is no justice."
'Constitutional Code, Book II, ch. XII,
sect. XIV.' The
Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the superintendence of ...
John Bowring, 11 vols., (Edinburgh: Tait, 1843)
vol. ix, p. 493.
"Publicity is the very soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion, and the surest of all guards against improbity. It keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial." 'Draught of a New Plan for the Organization of the Judicial Establishment in France.' The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the superintendence of ... John Bowring, 11 vols., (Edinburgh: Tait, 1843) vol. iv, p. 316.
"In proportion to the want of happiness resulting from the want
of rights, a reason for wishing that there were such things as
rights. But reasons for wishing there were such things as rights,
are not rights: a reason for wishing that a certain right were
established, is not that right: wants are not means: hunger is
2. That which has no existence can not be destroy'd: that which can not be destroy'd can not require any thing to preserve it from being destroy'd. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense, nonsense upon stilts."
Rights, Representation, and Reform - Nonsense upon Stilts and Other Writings on the French Revolution eds. Philip Schofield, Catherine Pease-Watkin and Cyprian Blamires (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002) p. 330.
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