Born on February 15th
Studied at Queen’s College
in Oxford in 1760, and after he
studied law at Lincoln’s Inn.
In 1776 Bentham published his first
book A Fragment on Government.
Bentham defined his theory of utilitarianism in his
book The Introduction to the Principled of Morals
and Legislation published in 1789
Bentham died on
Bentham directed that
his body was to be
mummified and put in a
wooden cabinet called an
The Auto-icon has a wax head, as Bentham's head was
badly damaged in the preservation process
From his book “Introduction to the Principles of
Morals and Legislation”, he stated that the
greatest happiness for the greatest number is the
basis of morality.
A moral principle which legal and social reforms
could be based.
This philosophy is known as UTILITARIANISM.
also suggested a procedure to mechanically
estimate the moral status of any action, which he
called the FELICIFIC CALCULUS.
A Fragment on Government (1776), which is an
excerpt from a longer work published only in 1928
is a Comment on Blackstone’s Commentaries. He
attacked the legal theory of Sir William
Blackstone. , Blackstone’s defense of tradition in
As a theorist of punishment, he develop a model of an
English prison that applied his theories of
punishment to imprisonment. He called his model
The concept of the design is to allow an observer to
observe (-opticon) all (pan-) prisoners without the
incarcerated being able to tell whether they are being
watched (sentiment of invisible omniscience).
He described the Panopticon as "a new mode of
obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity till
now without example."
Liberty is good because it is pleasant and the
restriction of liberty is an evil because it is painful.
Law, which is by its very nature a restriction of
liberty and painful to those whose freedom is
restricted, is a prima facie evil.
Still he recognized, good laws are still necessary
to social order and clearly essential to good
government. Indeed, more than Locke, Bentham
in spite of everything saw the positive role to be
played by law and government in achieving
community well-being. To the extent that law
advances and protects one’s economic and
personal goods and that what government exists
is self-government, law reflects the interests of the