In the Interest of the Governed: A Study in Benthams Philosophy of Utility and Law

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byDavid LyonsAs told byDavid Lyons

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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 philosophicaldoctrines, 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 governmentshould 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 forphilosophers 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.

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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 philosophicaldoctrines, his principle of utility and his analysis...

David Lyons is a Susan Linn Sage Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law at Cornell University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.67 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198239645

ISBN - 13:9780198239642

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'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, thereprint 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