Benthamism


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to Benthamism: Benthamites

Benthamism

the philosophy of utilitarianism as first expounded by the British philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham (1748--1832) in terms of an action being good that has a greater tendency to augment the happiness of the community than to diminish it
References in periodicals archive ?
One approach Unger calls 'retro doctrinalism' the second, 'analogical reasoning' in the common law and the third, 'shrunken Benthamism'.
(12) The subsequent claim that the "chief fruit" of his first visit to France was "a strong and permanent interest in continental liberalism" appears exaggerated in light of the journal's reticence on the subject, yet at least one entry suggests that Mill was a radical in politics well before his conversion to Benthamism a year later.
It was not used because of any conviction of the overall truth of Benthamism in all its applications.
Since he assumes the rightness of his theism without question, he never fully confronts the challenge of the mechanical age, which means that he simplifies both his own position and that of Benthamism.
The younger Mill's profound reaction against Benthamism, which began in the late 1820s and culminated in his 1840 essay on Coleridge, had its Indian analogue in Mill's identification with the "empire of opinion" school of Elphinstone, Munro, and Malcolm.
Paroissien argues that Dickens was more informed in his hostility to Benthamism than is always allowed.
Ritchie's "Benthamism grown tame and sleek." He observes that Sidgwick as essayist and correspondent was more adventurous, but does not follow this up by using Sidgwick's very radical essay, "the Theory of Classical Education" of 1868, demanding an end to the dominance of classics, his address on authority to the Cambridge Reform Club in 1872, or the fascinating exchange of correspondence with Sir Lewis Mallet in 1887, which ended up with Cobden's acolyte accusing the active Liberal Unionist of near communism.
"Let Benthamism reign, if men have no aspirations; but do not tell them to be romantic, and then solace them with glory; do not attempt by philosophy what once was done by religion." (19) Although a principle of expediency could keep the liberal state going for some time, Newman "shows no confidence that 'broad ethical truths' will stand unassailed without religion, and in any case, although a State may endure for some time without true morality, yet without it, its ultimate corruption is ensured." (20) For Newman, the politically liberal state had its roots in Christianity, and it needed Christianity for any long-term survival.
This at once faintly absurd but also somewhat unsettling circumstance is what made the doctrine of utility so vulnerable to caricature at the hands of popular controversialists like Thomas Babington Macaulay and Thomas Carlyle --and Hazlitt himself in essays like "The New School of Reform" and "The Utilitarian Controversy." Named Utilitarianism by its founder, this new system of morals and legislation became known popularly as Benthamism and from there came to be associated in the popular mind with figures like Dickens' Mr.
(190) There is debate over whether Collins' ascribing of 'Benthamism' to Australia is an adequate description of the ambit of political philosophy during federation and before World War I.
"[T]he abstractions of Bentham, reducing human beings to social atoms," Kirk explained, "are the principal source of modern designs for social alteration by fiat." (41) In 1957, Kirk argued that no real progress in economic thought could be found without first "emancipat[ing] us from the doctrinaire Benthamism that is in the mouths of the zealots both for 'capitalism' and 'socialism.'" (42) The struggle against Benthamism stood as "the Iliad of our woes," Kirk lamented.