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Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition

Course Code: LAWSG021A/LAWSG021

Course Tutors: Professor Philip Schofield, Professor William L. Twining, Dr Michael Quinn, Dr Timothy Causer (Bentham Project/ Faculty of Laws)

LAWSG021A: One 3000 word essay

LAWSG021: 3 hour unseen examination

Credit Value: 15/30

About this course
This course offers a unique opportunity to study the ideas of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and his continuing influence, particularly on his most famous disciple, John Stuart Mill. Bentham, famous as a jurist, philosopher and political scientist, was inspirational in the foundation and early development of UCL. His theories of utility, law, sovereignty, fallacies, fictions, judicial evidence, prison reform and constitutional government have had immense influence on the subsequent development of a number of key disciplines relevant to public policy, including both economics and law.

In this course, Bentham's ideas are related to the social, political, and intellectual context of his own time, and an assessment is made of their significance for the utilitarian tradition in law, morals and politics. Consideration is given to the continuing importance of Bentham's ideas for the contemporary world.

Students have the option of attending the course in term 1 only (15 credits) or attending in both terms 1 and 2 (30 credits).

Further information on this course can be found here.

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4969,

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Page last modified on 18 oct 12 14:51

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