Bentham Project

Preparatory Principles — Inserenda


On behalf of the Bentham Project and the Bentham Committee, I would like to thank the British Academy’s Committee on Academy Research Projects (CARP) for providing the funding which has made possible this on-line preliminary text of ‘Preparatory Principles—Inserenda’. The text as here presented should not be regarded as ‘authoritative’, in the way that texts in the published edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham are considered to be. However, considerable effort has been made to ensure that the text is accurate, and produced in accordance with the methodology adopted in the Collected Works. This preliminary version of ‘PPI’ will form the basis for the authoritative version which will eventually appear in the Collected Works.

The initial transcription of the material was undertaken by Professor Douglas Long, at the University of Western Ontario, in what was, in the early 1980s, a pioneering use of new technology, and saved to a mainframe computer. This transcript was recently reformatted into Microsoft Word. The new version of the transcript required a considerable amount of work in order to make it acceptable from the point of view of its presentation. This task has been undertaken by Dr Oliver Harris at the Bentham Project, UCL, who has also checked the accuracy of the transcript by comparing it with the original manuscript.

Bentham specialists will be aware that the material has been drawn on in some of the most important and influential books on Bentham in recent years, for instance Douglas Long’s Bentham on Liberty, Gerald Postema’s Bentham and the Common Law Tradition, and David Lieberman’s The Province of Legislation Determined. ‘PPI’ has, however, only been accessible hitherto to those able to visit UCL Library to read the original manuscripts themselves and to those with access to Professor Long’s transcript. Given the importance of this material, both in terms of Bentham’s intellectual development and the history of legal philosophy more generally, it was decided that it should be made available in this on-line format as soon as possible.

In short, a major resource for philosophers, legal theorists, political theorists, and intellectual historians is now readily accessible for the first time.

Structural Overview

Philip Schofield
General Editor of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham
Bentham Project, UCL. 22 June 2007.