This module provides a unique opportunity to study the ideas and influence of Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), the famous jurist, philosopher, and reformer.
Despite concentrating on the thought of one person, the module is surprisingly wide-ranging, since Bentham made significant contributions across a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, law, politics, and economics. Bentham’s ideas are related to the social, political, and intellectual context of his own time, and an assessment made of their significance for the contemporary world.
The module is taught by scholars associated with the Bentham Project, which is currently producing a new authoritative edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham.
The syllabus is subject to change:
- ‘Of the further uses of the dead to the living’
- A Fragment on Government
- Principle of Utility
- Subsistence, Abundance, Security, and Equality
- Logic and Language
- Politics and the French Revolution
- Parliamentary Reform and Democratic Ascendancy
- Constitutional Code and Republicanism
- History of Utilitarianism from Locke to Sidgwick
- Contemporary Utilitarianism
- Theory of Punishment
- Panopticon: Prison and Poorhouse
- Panopticon vs New South Wales
- Colonies and Colonization
- Theory of Law
- Political Fallacies
- Political Economy
- The Critique of Religion
- Sexual Morality
Note: Students are encouraged to attend the Bentham seminars, which usually take place during the second term, and where invited speakers who are carrying out research in Bentham studies are invited to present a paper and to answer questions.
Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, available at the beginning of term once students have enrolled.
For each seminar, students will be guided through the relevant section of the reading list, and essential and supplementary reading assigned. Each student is expected to read the essential materials, and preferably one or more of the supplementary materials, and be prepared to discuss their thoughts and ideas in class. Students are encouraged to make class presentations and must write one formative essay each term.
- J.R. Dinwiddy, Bentham, Oxford Past Masters, Oxford, 1989; also published in J.R. Dinwiddy, Bentham: Selected Writings of John Dinwiddy, ed. W. Twining, Stanford, 2004.
- Philip Schofield, Bentham: A Guide for the Perplexed, London, 2009.
- There is lots of information and links to resources at the Bentham Project’s website ucl.ac.uk/bentham-project
|Credit value:||45 credits (450 learning hours)|
Dr Tim Causer
|Teaching Delivery:||Face to Face Seminar|
|Who may enrol:||LLM Students Only|
|Must not be taken with:||Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition A (LAWS0303)|
|Qualifying module for:|
LLM in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
LLM in Legal Theory
|Final Assessment:||6,000 Word Essay (100%)|