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Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

English philosopher and economist

All punishment in itself is evil.

JEREMY BENTHAM, Principles of Morals and Legislation

Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.

JEREMY BENTHAM, The Canadian Bar Journal, Jun. 1966

How is property given? By restraining liberty; that is, by taking it away so far as necessary for the purpose. How is your house made yours? By debarring every one else from the liberty of entering it without your leave.

JEREMY BENTHAM, "A Critical Examination of the Declaration of Rights", The Works of Jeremy Bentham

Nature has placed mankind under the government of two sovereign masters--pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do; on the one hand the standard of right and wrong; on the other, the chain of causes and effects are fastened to their throne.

JEREMY BENTHAM, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Independence is a relative term: according to the object you refer to, so is your doctrine about independence true or false. Independence, as against individuals, is favourable to probity. Why? Because it leaves a man more dependent than he would be otherwise on the opinion of the people. Independence, as against a despot, is favourable to probity. Why? Because it not only allows a man to obey those influences which strengthen the bands of his dependence on the people, but obliges him: for under a despot, the strength of the people is the only prop that independence, as it is called, can have to lean on.

JEREMY BENTHAM, Bentham's Draught for the Organization of Judicial Establishments


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