By Emmanuelle de Champs

Jeremy Bentham, the founding father of classical utilitarianism, was once a seminal determine within the historical past of recent political proposal. This full of life monograph provides the various French connections of an emblematic British philosopher. probably greater than the other highbrow of his time, Bentham engaged with modern occasions and folks in France, even writing in French within the 1780s. putting Bentham's concept within the context of the French-language Enlightenment via to the post-Revolutionary period, Emmanuelle de Champs makes the case for a historic research of 'Global Bentham'. reading formerly unpublished assets, she strains the stream of Bentham's letters, neighbors, manuscripts, and books within the French-speaking international. This examine in transnational highbrow historical past unearths how utilitarianism, as a doctrine, was once either the fabricated from, and a contribution to, French-language political notion at a key time in ecu historical past. The debates surrounding utilitarianism in France forged new gentle at the making of contemporary Liberalism.

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Extra info for Enlightenment and Utility: Bentham in French, Bentham in France (Ideas in Context)

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Interspersed with observations relative to the subject of the above draught in particular, and to jurisprudence in general (London, 1778). 41 42 Part I An Englishman in the Republic of Letters These letters – some of which were sent while others remained drafts filed in Bentham’s papers – allow us to understand the terms in which he intended to present his thought to his French contemporaries. They highlight the common references they shared and cast light on Bentham’s early ambitions to become part of a Republic of Letters whose citizens strove to bring their nations closer to shared enlightened ideals.

P. Pieretti (Ann Arbor, 2006). On translation technique in the eighteenth century, see F. Oz-Salzberger, ‘The Enlightenment in Translation: Regional and European Aspects’, European Review of History, 13 (2006), 385–409. Les Incas, vol. I, xxii–xxiii. chapter 2 Satire and polemics Religious satire: the English Voltaire In publishing a 144-page ‘preface that might as well be read afterwards’1 to The White Bull, Bentham used Voltaire’s text as a vehicle to take his first steps in print. Translation allowed a thorough appropriation, not only of the ideas contained in the original text, but also – and perhaps more importantly – of the themes and the style.

X, 10. The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, vol. X, July 1820 to December 1821, S. , (CW) (Oxford, 1994), 345. Bowring, vol. X, 10. ‘The intention of the laws is that one man by his wisdom and moderation should promote the happiness of such numbers’, says Mentor. S. de la Mothe F´enelon, Telemachus, Son of Ulysses (Cambridge, 1994), 60. Languages of Enlightenment 23 modern elements of F´enelon’s doctrine were regularly praised. Physiocrats, for instance, highlighted its sound economic principles (favouring agriculture to ensure population growth, condemning luxury).

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