An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

by Jeremy Bentham


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Jeremy Bentham was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. He is best known for his advocacy of utilitarianism and animal rights, and the idea of the panopticon.

His position included arguments in favor of individual and economic freedom, usury, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and the decriminalizing of homosexual acts. He also argued for the abolition of slavery, physical punishment (including that of children) and the death penalty. Although strongly in favor of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts."

Bentham's ambition in life was to create a "Pannomion", a complete utilitarian code of law. Bentham not only proposed many legal and social reforms, but also expounded an underlying moral principle on which they should be based.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781443723213
Publisher: Plaat Press
Publication date: 11/28/2008
Pages: 436
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

Jeremy Bentham

Table of Contents

I. Of the Principle of Utility
II. Of Principles Adverse to that of Utility
III. Of the Four Sanctions or Sources of Pain and Pleasure
IV. Value of a Lot of Pleasure or Pain How to be Measured
V. Pleasures and Pains, Their Kinds
VI. Of Circumstances Influencing Sensibility
VII. Of Human Actions in General
VIII. Of Intentionality
IX. Of Consciousness
X. Of Motives
1. Different senses of the word Motive
2. No Motives either constantly good or constantly bad
3. Catalogue of Motives corresponding to that of Pleasures and Pains
4. Order of pre-eminence among Motives
5. Conflict among Motives
XI. Of Human Dispositions in General
XII. Of the Consequences of a Mischievous Act
1. Shapes in which the mischief of an Act may show itself
2. How intentionality, &c. may influence the mischief of an Act
XIII. Cases unmeet for Punishment
1. General view of cases unmeet for Punishment
2. Cases in which Punishment is groundless
3. Cases in which Punishment must be inefficacious
4. Cases where Punishment is unprofitable
5. Cases where Punishment is needless
XIV. Of the Proportion Between Punishments and Offences
XV. Of the Properties to be Given to a Lot of Punishment
XVI. Division of Offences
1. Classes of Offences
2. Divisions and sub-divisions
3. Genera of Class I.
4. Advantages of the present method
5. Characters of the five classes
XVII. Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence
1. Limits between private Ethics and the art of Legislation
2. Jurisprudence, its branches

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