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Jeremy Bentham on Utility and Truth

Schofield, P; (2015) Jeremy Bentham on Utility and Truth. History of European Ideas , 41 (8) pp. 1125-1142. 10.1080/01916599.2015.1077153. Green open access

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Abstract

Jeremy Bentham has two very strong commitments in his thought: one is to the principle of utility, or the greatest happiness principle, as the fundamental principle of morality; the other is to truth, as indicated, for instance, in his opposition to falsehood and fiction in the law. How, then, did Bentham view the relationship between utility and truth? Did he think that utility and truth simply coincided, and hence that falsehood necessarily led to a diminution in happiness, and conversely truth led to an increase in happiness? This article addresses this issue through two bodies of material: the first consists of Bentham’s writings on religion under the heading of ‘Juggernaut’ and dating from 1811 to 1821; and the second consists of the writings on judicial evidence dating from 1803 to 1812 and which appeared in Rationale of Judicial Evidence.

Type: Article
Title: Jeremy Bentham on Utility and Truth
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01916599.2015.1077153
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2015.1077153
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in History of European Idea on 21/09/2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01916599.2015.1077153
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws > The Bentham Project
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1468950
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