UCL Faculty of Laws


Jeremy Bentham's Expansive Aesthetics: Pushpin Too

01 May 2018, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Bentham Arts

Part of the Bentham and the Arts seminar series

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws


Moot Court, Bentham House, 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1H 0EG

Speaker: Professor Frances Ferguson (Chicago)

About the seminar:

When John Stuart Mill characterized Bentham as relentless in his pursuit of facts, Mill could not have known that literary scholars would later defend the value of poetry in part by pointing to—and protesting—Bentham’s observation that pushpin might, like poetry, yield pleasure. This defense of poetry—and disparagement of pushpin—has often narrowed the discussion of aesthetics by framing it largely through the question of taste. In ‘Jeremy Bentham’s Expansive Aesthetics’, I’ll be tracking discussions of the relationship between aesthetic pleasure and testimony about aesthetic pleasure as Kant identified it in his remarks on taste in the Critique of Judgment.

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