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Jeremy Bentham and UCL: Corpse and corpus

22 February 2010

Thursday 11 February 2010

Professor Philip Schofield (UCL Bentham Project)

What is Jeremy Bentham’s corpse doing in the South Cloisters? Did he provide the financial backing for the foundation of UCL? Was he a professor in the Department of Laws? Does his ghost trundle around the College at night? Does he attend Council meetings, and is he recorded in the minutes as ‘present, but not voting’?

As for the corpus, this consists in 60,000 folios of manuscripts deposited in the College Library. For fifty years the Bentham Committee has been overseeing the editing and publication of a new edition of Bentham’s works. Is this extraordinarily large collection of material, much of it in barely decipherable handwriting, as dead as the philosopher himself? Or is it still relevant today?

This lecture marks the anniversary of UCL’s foundation on 11 Feb 1826

Page last modified on 27 nov 09 08:44


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