Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy
Bentham
1748
1832

English Philosopher, Economist, Thoretical Jurist, Expounder of Utilitarianism

Author Quotes

That which has no existence cannot be destroyed — that which cannot be destroyed cannot require anything to preserve it from destruction. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense — nonsense upon stilts.

Nature has placed mankind under the government of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure - they govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm.

Create all the happiness you are able to create; remove all the misery you are able to remove.

Tyranny and anarchy are never far apart.

The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"

The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.

Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.

Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of a regular government.

No power of government ought to be employed in the endeavor to establish any system or article of belief on the subject of religion.

It is vain to talk of the interest of the community, without understanding what is the interest of the individual.

It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong.

Every law is an infraction of liberty.

As to the evil which results from a censorship, it is impossible to measure it, for it is impossible to tell where it ends.

All punishment is mischief; all punishment in itself is evil.

Every law is contrary to liberty.

The business of government is to promote the happiness of the society, by punishing and rewarding.

Pleasure is in itself a good; nay, even setting aside immunity to pain, the only good; pain is in itself an evil; and, indeed, without exception, the only evil; or else the words good and evil have no meaning.

The word “independence” is united to the accessory ideas of dignity and virtue. The word “dependence” is united to the ideas of inferiority and corruption.

Thus it is - that, by the comparative blindness of man in each preceding period, the like blindness in each succeeding period is secured: without the trouble or need of reflection, men, by opulence rendered indolent, and by indolence and self-indulgence doomed to ignorance, follow their leaders - as sheep follow sheep, and geese geese.

Publicity is the very soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion, and the surest of all guards against improbity. It keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. Under the auspices of publicity, the cause in the court of law, and the appeal to the court of public opinion, are going on at the same time... It is through publicity alone that justice becomes the mother of security.

The general object which all laws have, or ought to have, in common, is to augment the total happiness of the community; and therefore, in the first place, to exclude, as far as may be, every thing that tends to subtract from the happiness: in other words, to exclude mischief.

Property and law are born together, and i.e. together. Before laws were made there was no property; take away laws, and property ceases.

Property is nothing but a basis of expectation; the expectation of deriving certain advantages from a thing which we said to possess, in consequence of the relation in which we stand towards it. There is no image, no painting, no visible trait, which can express the relation that constitutes property. It is not material, it is metaphysical; it is a mere conception of the mind.

Nature has placed mankind under the government of two sovereign masters, Pain and Pleasure - they govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think; every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it.

On every in which virtue is exercised, if something is not added to happiness, something is taken away, form anxiety.

Author Picture
First Name
Jeremy
Last Name
Bentham
Birth Date
1748
Death Date
1832
Bio

English Philosopher, Economist, Thoretical Jurist, Expounder of Utilitarianism