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Extra info for Bentham (Arguments of the Philosophers)
However intimate the connection between an interest in clarity and an interest in welfare, it is at best contingent. Let us assumefor the moment, however, that clarity, truth, and consistency are unproblematically good things, which is certainly Bentham’s assumption at the time at which he wrote the early work in which the phrase ‘the pestilential breath of fiction’ appears, the Fragment on Government. Bentham’s aim in this work is to show that the highly regarded legal treatise, Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, was susceptible to criticism and insidious in effect, tending to make people more satisfied with the current state of the law than they had any right to be.
The frustration produced by this, and the contrast with his successfulstepbrothers in his father’s eyes, explain the movement into practical projects. The decade started with an extraordinary exchangeof letters with Lansdowne in which Bentham accuseshis friend, with whom he had just been in close co-operation producing pamphlets for France, of not being a true patron by failing to get him into parliament. The apparently disinterested philosopher turned and bit the hand he thought had failed to feed him.
36) and place it in a box. ) is still adopted one hundred and fifty years later. The actual transition of Bentham into auto-icon is described in Marmoy (1958). (c) A more precise account of Helvetius and Beccaria and the project they bequeathed to Bentham is given in Chapter V, together with an account of the intellectual foundations of the panopticon, which was an application of the same general project. (d) The biography of Bentham in this chapter, like all biography of Bentham, inevitably makes use of the unreliable Autobiography.