Frases de Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy Bentham Foto
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Jeremy Bentham

Fecha de nacimiento: 15. Febrero 1748
Fecha de muerte: 6. Junio 1832

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Jeremy Bentham fue un filósofo, economista, pensador y escritor inglés, padre del utilitarismo.

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Frases Jeremy Bentham

„Judges of elegance and taste consider themselves as benefactors to the human race, whilst they are really only the interrupters of their pleasure“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: Judges of elegance and taste consider themselves as benefactors to the human race, whilst they are really only the interrupters of their pleasure … There is no taste which deserves the epithet good, unless it be the taste for such employments which, to the pleasure actually produced by them, conjoin some contingent or future utility: there is no taste which deserves to be characterized as bad, unless it be a taste for some occupation which has mischievous tendency. Théorie des peines et des récompenses (1811); translation by Richard Smith, The Rationale of Reward, J. & H. L. Hunt, London, 1825, Bk. 3, Ch. 1

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„The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer? Ch. 17 : Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence

„Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: It is with government, as with medicine. They have both but a choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils: In making this choice, what ought to be the object of the legislator? He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them. There are then two things to be regarded; the evil of the offence and the evil of the law; the evil of the malady and the evil of the remedy. An evil comes rarely alone. A lot of evil cannot well fall upon an individual without spreading itself about him, as about a common centre. In the course of its progress we see it take different shapes: we see evil of one kind issue from evil of another kind; evil proceed from good and good from evil. All these changes, it is important to know and to distinguish; in this, in fact, consists the essence of legislation. Principles of Legislation (1830), Ch. X : Analysis of Political Good and Evil; How they are spread in society

„Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light. Ch. 1 : Of the Principle of Utility

„That which has no existence cannot be destroyed — that which cannot be destroyed cannot require anything to preserve it from destruction. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense — nonsense upon stilts.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: That which has no existence cannot be destroyed — that which cannot be destroyed cannot require anything to preserve it from destruction. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense — nonsense upon stilts. But this rhetorical nonsense ends in the old strain of mischievous nonsense for immediately a list of these pretended natural rights is given, and those are so expressed as to present to view legal rights. And of these rights, whatever they are, there is not, it seems, any one of which any government can, upon any occasion whatever, abrogate the smallest particle. A Critical Examination of the Declaration of Rights

„He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: It is with government, as with medicine. They have both but a choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils: In making this choice, what ought to be the object of the legislator? He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them. There are then two things to be regarded; the evil of the offence and the evil of the law; the evil of the malady and the evil of the remedy. An evil comes rarely alone. A lot of evil cannot well fall upon an individual without spreading itself about him, as about a common centre. In the course of its progress we see it take different shapes: we see evil of one kind issue from evil of another kind; evil proceed from good and good from evil. All these changes, it is important to know and to distinguish; in this, in fact, consists the essence of legislation. Principles of Legislation (1830), Ch. X : Analysis of Political Good and Evil; How they are spread in society

„The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer?“

—  Jeremy Bentham, The Principles of Morals and Legislation
Context: The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer? Ch. 17 : Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence

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„Create all the happiness you are able to create: remove all the misery you are able to remove.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: Create all the happiness you are able to create: remove all the misery you are able to remove. Every day will allow you to add something to the pleasure of others, or to diminish something of their pains. And for every grain of enjoyment you sow in the bosom of another, you shall find a harvest in your own bosom; while every sorrow which you pluck out from the thoughts and feelings of a fellow creature shall be replaced by beautiful peace and joy in the sanctuary of your soul. Advise to a young girl (22 June 1830)

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„Priestley was the first (unless it was Beccaria) who taught my lips to pronounce this sacred truth — that the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
"Extracts from Bentham's Commonplace Book", in Collected Works, x, p. 142; He credits Priestley in his Essay on the First Principles of Government (1768) or Beccaria with inspiring his use of the phrase, often paraphrased as "The greatest good for the greatest number", but the statement "the greatest happiness for the greatest number" actually originates with Francis Hutcheson, in his Inquiry concerning Moral Good and Evil (1725), sect. 3. In an unpublished manuscript on utilitarianism, written for James Mill, he later criticized this formulation: "Greatest happiness of the greatest number. Some years have now elapsed since, upon a closer scrutiny, reason, altogether incontestable, was found for discarding this appendage. On the surface, additional clearness and correctness given to the idea: at bottom, the opposite qualities. Be the community in question what it may, divide it into two equal parts, call one of them the majority, the other minority, layout of the account of the feelings of the minority, include in the account no feelings but those in the majority, the result you will find is that of this operation, that to the aggregate stock of happiness of the community, loss not profit is the result of the operation. Of this proposition the truth will be the more palpable, the greater the ration of the number of the minority to that of the majority: in other words, the less difference between the two unequal parts: and suppose the condivident part equal, the quantity of the error will then be at its maximum." — as quoted in The Classical Utilitarians : Bentham and Mill (2003) by John Troyer, p. 92;

„All poetry is misrepresentation“

—  Jeremy Bentham
An Aphorism attributed to him according to John Stuart Mill (see Mill's essay On Bentham and Coleridge in Utilitarianism edt. by Mary Warnock p. 123).

„Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Attributed to Bentham in The Dictionary of Humorous Quotations‎ (1949) by Evan Esar, p. 29; no earlier sources for this have been located.

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