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In the Interest of the Governed : A Study in Bentham's Philosophy of Utility and Law - David Lyons

In the Interest of the Governed

A Study in Bentham's Philosophy of Utility and Law

Hardcover

Published: 11th July 1991
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Although known as the founder of modern utilitarianism and the source of analytical jurisprudence, Bentham today is infrequently read but often caricatured. The present book, based on a study of Bentham's most important works, offers a reinterpretation of Bentham's main philosophical doctrines, his principle of utility and his analysis of law. The evidence indicates that Bentham was no `universalist' in morals, but embraced a dual standard - in politics the community's interest, in `private ethics' the agent's interest - which may in turn be based on the idea that government should serve the interests of those who are `governed'. The argument challenges many common assumptions about Bentham's view of human nature and of political institutions. A new reading is also given to his theory of law, which suggests Bentham's insight, originality, and continued interest for philosophers and legal theorists. In the Interest of the Governed was first published in 1973. This revised edition contains a new Preface, a revised Bibliography, and two new Indexes, one of Names and one of Subjects, which together replace the original index.

'The received interpretation of Bentham's utilitarianism is challenged and a reinterpretation is presented and defended with lucidity and force...This reinterpretation will be essential reading for any serious student of Bentham's philosophy.' Law Quarterly Review `The book is clearly written, scrupulously documented; it confronts possible objections and acknowledges its own weak points in a way that makes it excellent reading even for those unfamiliar with the philosophical literature on Bentham ... Lyons does well to phrase his arguments with modesty and care, for this book is a startling corrective of many of the common assumptions about Bentham's thought.' Political Theory 'His comments are fair and judicious ... the original argument is striking for its rigour and seriousness, and Lyons's book has encouraged a number of scholars to examine more carefully the philosophical arguments surrounding the principle of utility and the theory of law. In this sense, the reprint of the original book is a welcome addition to current attempts to re-interpret Bentham's ideas in numerous fields.' F. Rosen, University College of London, Utilitas

Prefacep. vii
Preface to the Revised Editionp. xi
Abbreviations and Referencesp. xxi
Introductionp. 1
The Need for Re-Examinationp. 1
Bentham's Utilitarianismp. 19
A Differential Interpretationp. 19
The Consistency of the Dual Standardp. 35
The Convergence of Interestsp. 50
The Development of Bentham's Positionp. 82
Bentham on the Nature of Lawp. 107
The Imperational Theory of Lawp. 107
Motivation and Controlp. 125
Bibliographyp. 138
Index of Namesp. 149
Index of Subjectsp. 151
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198239642
ISBN-10: 0198239645
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 11th July 1991
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 1.42
Weight (kg): 0.35
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised