The Legal and Political Legacy of Jeremy Bentham

Posted: 6 Nov 2013

See all articles by Philip Schofield

Philip Schofield

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: November 2013


The study of Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), the English legal philosopher and reformer, is being transformed by the appearance of volumes in the new authoritative edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Following revisionist studies in the 1980s and 1990s that reasserted Bentham's credentials as a key figure in the emergence of the liberal tradition, more recent work has explored an increasingly varied range of topics from the perspective of an increasing variety of disciplines, including literary studies, sociology, and history of political thought, as well as law and philosophy. The view of Bentham as a crude authoritarian behaviorist is no longer tenable, and Bentham's place as a major philosopher with relevance for the twenty-first century is being increasingly recognized.

Suggested Citation

Schofield, Philip, The Legal and Political Legacy of Jeremy Bentham (November 2013). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 9, pp. 51-70, 2013. Available at SSRN: or

Philip Schofield (Contact Author)

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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