In this book Dr Kelly presents the first full-length exposition and sympathetic defence of Jeremy Bentham's unique utilitarian theory of justice. He rescues Bentham's reputation from crude nineteenth- and twentieth-century caricatures, and develops a sophisticated and subtle interpretation of Bentham's moral theory which places him at the heart of the British Liberal tradition. Drawing heavily on Bentham's unpublished civil and distributive
law writings, classic and recent Bentham scholarship, and contemporary work in moral and political philosophy, Dr Kelly shows how Bentham developed a moderate welfare-state liberal theory of justice
with egalitarian leanings, the aim of which was to secure the material and political conditions of each citizen's pursuit of his own conception of the good life in co-operation with others. This strikingly original interpretation makes a valuable contribution to the growing literature on Bentham's legal and political thought, and develops a utilitarian theory of justice which offers much to contemporary political philosophy.
`a definite contribution to Bentham scholarship
Times Higher Education Supplement
`Kelly has written an ambitious book of rich philosophical interest which will be essential reading for Bentham's intellectual friends and enemies alike
`This book makes very full reference to Bentham secondary literature and to current debates in moral and political theory. Reasonably enough, the author expects no previous knowledge of either body or material. Readers ignorant of one of these fields will be reliably and fully informed about the other. Readers knowledgeable about Bentham will still learn something about him and be forced to face new challenges to their ideas.
`Kelly's book has established an important set of issues for Bentham scholarship as well as for utilitarian theory.
Psychological hedonism and the basis of motivation; the principle of utility and the criterion of moral judgement; security, expectation and liberty; subsistence, abundance, and equality and the conditions of stability; the security-providing principle; the disappointment-preventing principle and substantive justice.
Number Of Pages: 250
Published: 4th October 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.2
Weight (kg): 0.59