Jurisprudence

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UTILITARIANISM, James E. Crimmins, ed., New York: Continuum International Publishers, Forthcoming

UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1785400

9 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2011  

Gerald J. Postema

University of North Carolina - Philosophy and Law

Abstract

This essay offers a brief history of philosophical jurisprudence in the utilitarian tradition, broadly construed. Starting from its headwaters in Epicurean understanding of justice, this story summarizes contributions to the philosophy of law of Aquinas and Marsilius of Padua, Hobbes and Hume, Bentham and Austin, Holmes, Salmond and Hart. Bentham emerges as the pivotal figure giving utilitarian jurisprudence its distinctive, positivist modern form. The philosophical ambitions and the breadth of intellectual vision of Bentham’s thought stands as a challenge to contemporary work in the field.

Keywords: Positivism, Bentham. Hart, Epicurean, utilitarian

Suggested Citation

Postema, Gerald J., Jurisprudence. ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UTILITARIANISM, James E. Crimmins, ed., New York: Continuum International Publishers, Forthcoming; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1785400. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1785400

Gerald J. Postema (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina - Philosophy and Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

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