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Jeremy Bentham


  1. Courrier de Provence journalist


Member of


Sometimes used the pseudonyms Gamaliel Smith and Philip Beauchamp

"Bentham's writings for France achieved no immediate results. No proposal was adopted and no panopticon prison appeared in revolutionary Paris. Bentham's experience with France revealed in a dramatic way the difficulties of adapting complex arguments and proposals to changing political circumstances. Even arrangements for translating and publishing his writings became problematic. The French Revolution also affected Bentham personally. For the first time, albeit in essays he never published and could even have forgotten, he adopted radical principles in favour of representative government, near-universal suffrage, the secret ballot, and annual assemblies. But he soon reacted strongly against the course of the revolution. One essay of this later period was Bentham's denunciation of the declaration of rights of man and the citizen, published posthumously in English as 'Anarchical fallacies' and containing Bentham's famous remark that natural rights were 'simple nonsense' and natural and imprescriptible rights, 'nonsense upon stilts'. Not until 1809–10 did Bentham begin to write in favour of radical parliamentary reform in Britain, and not publicly until the Plan of Parliamentary Reform appeared in 1817." From his entry in ONDB.