Rights, Representation, and Reform: Nonsense upon Stilts and Other Writings on the French Revolution

Hardcover | July 3, 2002

byJeremy BenthamEditorPhilip Schofield, Catherine Pease-Watkin

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The French Revolution provided Bentham with what appeared to him to be an exciting opportunity to influence the reconstruction of the French state. Drawing on his knowledge of English political and constitutional practice, as well as the theoretical resources he had developed in his own work,he suggested imaginative and innovative measures to achieve the peaceful and constitutional reform in France. In discussing the nature of representation he produced the earliest utilitarian justification of political equality and representative democracy, even recommending women's suffrage.Moreover, he provided a major critique of the dominant constitutional theory of the division of power, including both the doctrine of the balance of powers and that of the separation of powers. Turning his attention to Britain, for a time he advocated measures of parlimentary reform, but becomingdisenchanted with the course of the Revolution he produced the celebrated 'Nonsense upon Stilts' (hitherto known as 'Anarchical Fallacies'), the most devastating attack on the theory of natural rights ever written, in which he argued that natural rights provided an unsuitable basis for stable legaland political arrangements. All the essays published in this volume, with the exception of Emancipate your Colonies!, an important early critique of colony-holding, are based on the original manuscript sources, many of which have not been previously published in any form.

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The French Revolution provided Bentham with what appeared to him to be an exciting opportunity to influence the reconstruction of the French state. Drawing on his knowledge of English political and constitutional practice, as well as the theoretical resources he had developed in his own work,he suggested imaginative and innovative meas...

Catherine Pease-Watkin and Philip P Schofield are both at University College London.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:574 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.32 inPublished:July 3, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019924863X

ISBN - 13:9780199248636

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Table of Contents

Editorial IntroductionConsiderations d'un Anglois sur la composition des Etats-GenerauxObservations d'un Anglois sur un ecrit intitule Arrete de la noblesse de BretagneObservations sur resultat de depouillement des cahiersObservations on the Draughts of Declarations-of-Rights Presented to the Committee of the Constitution of the National Assembly of Franceshort Vies of Economy for the Use of the French NationSupply - New Species ProposedProjet of a Constitutional Code for FranceNecessity of an Omnipotent LegislatureEmancipate Your Colonies! Addressed to the National Convention of FranceNonsense upon Stilts, or Pandora's Box Opened, or the French Declaration of Rights Prefixed to the Constitution of 1791 Laid Open and ExposedAppendicesCollationIndexes