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BENTHAM’S UTILITARIAN THEORY
MR. A. P. SINGH
. in all we think. as well as to determine what we shall do.DR. They govern us in all we do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong. Jeremy Bentham The Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789) — . in all we say.. pain and pleasure. on the other the chain of causes and effects. RAM MANOHAR LOHIYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY LUCKNOW Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do. are fastened to their throne.
the doctrine of pleasure and pain propounded by Bentham has also been taken into consideration. Thanks . Thanks are due to staff at the Dr. RMLNLU library. Apart from the theory of utilitarianism. RMLNLU.PREFACE The aim of this project is to introduce the reader to the principle of utilitarianism. as well as to a number of colleagues who have directly or indirectly given pointers to how this project should proceed. the famous English jurist. the faculty of the Criminal Law in Dr. propounded Jeremy Bentham.
TABLE OF CONTENTS PREFACE ABOUT JEREMY BENTHAM .to my parents. who provided me with case materials and his invaluable blessings.
CONCLUSION . Several simple pains. Principle of sympathy and antipathy PLEASURES AND PAINS Several simple pleasures.WORKS OF BENTHAM PRINCIPLE OF UTILITY What is utility Principles Adverse to that of Utility Principle of asceticism.
Utilitarianism was revised and expanded by Bentham's student. He influenced the development of liberalism. Austin is called the father of the analytical school but it is . John Stuart Mill. He attributed his theory to Joseph Priestley. He was a political radical and a leading theorist in AngloAmerican philosophy of law. These included his secretary and collaborator on the utilitarian school of philosophy James Mill. His influence spread all around the world. He propounded the theory of utilitarianism and fair treatment of animals. He was also the staunch supporter of the individual liberty and right to private property. and legal and social reformer. He also suggested the procedure called Hedonistic or felicific calculus for estimating the moral status of any action. James Mill's son John Stuart Mill. and several political leaders. Bentham was one of the most influential utilitarians. philosopher. through his and his students.ABOUT JEREMY BENTHAM Jeremy Bentham ( 1748 to 1832) was an English jurist.
Bentham also advocated for the codification of laws and also advoced for the legislation. This was an unsparing criticism of some introductory passages relating to political theory in William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. much of that which was published was prepared for publication by others. who deserves this title. WORKS OF BENTHAM Most of the writing of Bentham were never published in his own lifetime. 1791) Emancipate your Colonies (1793) Traité de Législation Civile et Penale (1802) . published 1789) • • • • Defence of Usury (1787) Panopticon (1787. • Introduction to Principles of Morals and Legislation (printed for publication 1780.Works published in Bentham's lifetime included: • Fragment on Government (1776).Bentham.
• • • • • • Punishments and Rewards (1811) A Table of the Springs of Action (1815) Parliamentary Reform Catechism (1817) ChurchofEnglandism (printed 1817. . published 1818) Elements of the Art of Packing (1821) The Influence of Natural Religion upon the Temporal Happiness of Mankind (1822) • • • Not Paul But Jesus (1823) Book of Fallacies (1824) A Treatise on Judicial Evidence (1825) The essay Offences Against One's Self. It was published for the first time in 1931. argued for the liberalisation of laws prohibiting homosexuality.
PRINCIPLE OF UTILITY Utility was defined by Bentham as “the principle which approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever according to the tendency which it .
To know the true good of the community is science of legislation and finding the means to realize that good constitutes the art of legislation. In words a man may pretend to reject their empire: but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. pain and pleasure. For him it was the greatest happiness of the greatest number of the people. by furthering the enjoyment of pleasure and providing security against the pain. The community can have no interests independent of or aggressive to the interests of the individual. which constituted the principle of utility. mankind is always under the governance of two sovereign masters. According to him the business of the government was to promote happiness among the masses. Public good is the object of the legislator. According to his theory. A happy society constitutes a happy polity. community interest is sum of the interests of the members who compose it. According to Bentham.appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question. as well as to determine what we shall do.” The principle of utility is designed to promote the happiness of the individual or the community. They point out what we ought to do. The principle of utility recognizes this . They govern us in all our actions and thoughts.
The law. The Benthamite legislator.subjection. according to him. The goal of security was paramount and principal one. What is utility: By utility is meant that property in any object. (all this in the present case . seeking to ensure happiness for the community must strive to attain four goals of subsistence. advantage. which indirectly act as the force behind the subsistence of the individual. the object of which is to nurture the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. he gave emphasis to the goal of equality. or happiness. equality. can do nothing to provide directly for the subsistence of the citizens. abundance. He did not force for the limitations on state interventions and social reforms. Next to security. He referred all these goals as the functions of law. Bentham never questioned the desirability of economic individualism and private property. It can impose penalty or give rewards. pleasure. and assumes it for the foundation of that system. whereby it tends to produce benefit. By the principle of utility approves or disapproves of every action whatsoever according to the tendency it appears to have to enhance or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question. good. and security citizens.
composed of the individual persons who are considered as constituting as it were its members. A measure of government may be said to be conformable to or dictated by the principle of utility. or at least that it is not one . whether that party is the community in general or a particular individual. Those actions are conformable to the principle of utility. when it tends to augment the happiness of the community than to diminish it. The interest of the community then is the sum of the interests of the several members who compose it. or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered. The community is a fictitious body. or any measure. pain. when it tends to add to the sum total of his pleasures or. A thing is said to promote the interest of an individual. evil. to diminish the sum total of his pains. An action then may be said to be conformable to the principle of utility.comes to the same thing) or (what comes again to the same thing) to prevent the happening of mischief. when it tends to enlarge the happiness of the community is greater than to diminish it. A follower of the principle of utility approves or disapproves any action. which one may always say either that it is one that ought to be done. on account of the tendency it has to augment or to diminish the happiness of the community.
by despising vulgar pleasures. acting inversely to the principle of utility. The ascetic devotees are tormented by ineffective terrors. 2. which. By the principle of asceticism. The one class belongs to philosophers and the other to devotees. Bentham meant that principle. approve of actions in as far as they tend to diminish his happiness and disapprove of them in as far as they tend to augment it. The . and sometimes not as in a case of the principle of sympathy and antipathy. By being sometimes opposed to it. Principle of asceticism. His works were based on "the greatest happiness of the greatest number” principle. This principle has been followed by two classes of men.that ought not to be done. Principles Adverse to that of Utility A principle may be different from that of utility in two ways: 1. By being constantly opposed to it as in the case of a principle of asceticism. The ascetic philosophers have flattered themselves with the idea to rise above humanity.
holding up that approbation or disapprobation as a sufficient reason for itself. The quantum of punishment. or selfesteem. Bentham meant that principle which approves or disapproves of certain actions. nor ever can be. dictates to punish less if man hates that action less. decorum. glory. The principle of asceticism never was. By the principle of sympathy and antipathy. This principle meant the approbation or disapprobation of certain action by a man on ground that a man finds himself inclined to approve or disapprove of them.devotees have carried the ascetic principle further than the philosophers. not on account of their tending to augment the happiness or on account of their tending to diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question. Principle of sympathy and antipathy. consistently pursued by any living creature. reputation. . more if he hates it more. and denying the necessity of looking out for any extrinsic ground. based on this principle. The philosophical party have paid a heap to degenerate pleasure but the devotees have frequently gone so far as to make it a matter of merit and of duty to court pain The pleasure was received and applauded when it took the titles of honour.
and so remote from mischief. Of pains alone: or. 3. There is no incident imaginable. according to Bentham. Of pleasures alone 2. Interesting perceptions are either simple or complex. interesting perceptions. The pleasures of sense. . The simple pleasures. from which this principle may not extract a ground of punishment. include: 1. PLEASURES AND PAINS Bentham has referred the pains and pleasures by one general word. The simple ones are those which cannot be resolved into more: complex are those which are resolvable into divers simple ones. A complex interesting perception may accordingly be composed either: 1. be it ever so trivial. Several simple pleasures. Of a pleasure or pleasures. It is for applying punishment in many cases which deserve none: in many cases which deserve some. and a pain or pains together. it is for applying more than they deserve.The principle of sympathy and antipathy is most apt to err on the side of severity.
The pains of awkwardness. The pleasures of skill. 2. 4. The pleasures of wealth. The pleasures of relief. Several simple pains can be listed as follows: 1. 5. The pleasures of imagination. The pleasures dependent on association. The pleasures of expectation.2. 8. . Several simple pains. 9. 3. The pleasures of a good name. 11. The pleasures of malevolence. 13. 3. 4. The pleasures of amity. 12. The pains of enmity. 7. The pains of privation. The pleasures of benevolence. The pleasures of piety. The pains of the senses. The pleasures of power. 14. 6. The pleasures of memory. 10.
6. The pains of expectation. 7. The pains dependent on association.5. 12. 9. The pains of the memory. 10. . The pains of the imagination. The pains of malevolence. The pains of an ill name. 11. The pains of benevolence. The pains of piety. 8.
This philosophy. . but also expounded an underlying moral principle on which they should be based. unlike Mill's. argued that the right act or policy was that which would cause "the greatest happiness of the greatest number” often referred to as the principle of utility. faces several criticisms. Bentham's theory. a complete Utilitarian code of law. he was a staunch supporter of individualism and private property ownerships. Bentham not only proposed many legal and social reforms. Thogh he supported the state interventions and reforms. Utilitarianism was revised and expanded by Bentham's student. utilitarianism.CONCLUSION Bentham's contributed his best in the creation of a "Pannomion". John Stuart Mill.
edu/labyrinth/ipml/ipml. Lexis Nexis.la.utexas. Bentham’s Theory of Legislation.html http://en. Universal Law Publishing Co. • • • • http://socserv. • Bodenheimer. • Baxi. New Delhi.la. Delhi.edu/labyrinth/ipml/ipml. (Reprint).toc.html http://www.wikipedia.. .org/wiki/Jeremy_Bentham#Utilitarianism Books. 2006. 5th ed.mcmaster. Jurisprudence the Philosophy and Method of the Law.c05. Upendra. (reprint).pdf http://www. Edgar. 7th ed. 2006.ca/econ/ugcm/3ll3/bentham/morals.REFERENCES URLs.utexas.
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