Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832): Representative Government as the Maximizer of Utility

Jeremy Bentham was born in 1748, in London, in the family of a wealthy and successful English attorney. He was a precocious child, reading Latin when he was three years old, and Locke’s difficult philosophical works before he hit his teens. At 12, he was already enrolled at Oxford University. After an Oxford education at Queen’s College where he did both his B.A. and M.A. (1760–1766), Bentham began attending the London law courts. He was called to the bar in 1769, although he never practised as a lawyer. In those days, the only way for would-be lawyers to learn about law was by attending court proceedings. It was Bentham’s good fortune that for the last few ...

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