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The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Volume 4

October 1788 to December 1793

Jeremy Bentham, edited by Alexander Taylor Milne, and general editor John R. Dinwiddy

£25.00

ISBN: 9781911576167

Publication: June 07, 2017

Series: Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham

The first five volumes of the Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham contain over 1,300 letters written both to and from Bentham over a 50-year period, beginning in 1752 (aged three) with his earliest surviving letter to his grandmother, and ending in 1797 with correspondence concerning his attempts to set up a national scheme for the provision of poor relief. Against the background of the debates on the American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789, to which he made significant contributions, Bentham worked first on producing a complete penal code, which involved him in detailed explorations of fundamental legal ideas, and then on his panopticon prison scheme. Despite developing a host of original and ground-breaking ideas, contained in a mass of manuscripts, he published little during these years, and remained, at the close of this period, a relatively obscure individual. Nevertheless, these volumes reveal how the foundations were laid for the remarkable rise of Benthamite utilitarianism in the early nineteenth century.

In 1789 Bentham published An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, which remains his most famous work, but which had little impact at the time, followed in 1791 by The Panopticon: or, The Inspection-House, in which he proposed the building of a circular penitentiary house. Bentham’s correspondence unfolds against the backdrop of the increasingly violent French Revolution, and shows his initial sympathy for France turning into hostility. On a personal level, in 1791 his brother Samuel returned from Russia, and in 1792 he inherited his father’s house in Queen’s Square Place, Westminster together with a significant property portfolio.

 Praise for the Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, volumes 1-5

‘These volumes provide significant additions to our understanding of Bentham’s work in the first half of his life up to 1797. The insights they offer into Bentham’s activities, ideas and method cast light on his philosophical and political positions in a seminal period in British and European history.’
British Journal for the History of Philosophy

Alexander Taylor (Jock) Milne (1906–94), scholar and historian, was Secretary and Librarian of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

John R. Dinwiddy (1939–90), historian, was educated at New College, Oxford, before being appointed successively as Lecturer 1969–78, Senior Lecturer 1978–83, Reader 1983–9, and Professor 1989–90 in the Department of History, Royal Holloway College, University of London. In 1977 he was appointed as second General Editor of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, a post he held jointly with Professor Burns until the following year, and then solely until 1983. In this role, he saw the fourth and fifth volumes of Bentham’s Correspondence through the press.

List of Letters in Volume 4

Introduction to Volumes 4 and 5
 1. The Letters
 2. Outline of Bentham’s Life, October 1788 to December 1797

A List of Missing Letters

Key to Symbols and Abbreviations

THE CORRESPONDENCE October 1788–December 1793

Index

‘These volumes provide significant additions to our understanding of Bentham’s work in the first half of his life up to 1797. The insights they offer into Bentham’s activities, ideas and method cast light on his philosophical and political positions in a seminal period in British and European history.’
  British Journal for the History of Philosophy

Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

554 Pages

ISBN: 9781911576167

Publication: June 07, 2017

Series: Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham

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