Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Bentham, Jeremy: Classical School
William Sweet & Paul Groarke
Jeremy Bentham was born in Houndsditch, London, on February 15, 1748, and died there on June 6, 1832. He entered Queen's College, Oxford, in 1760, at the age of 13, graduating in 1764, after which he studied law at Lincoln's Inn. Though he qualified to practice law, he never did so, instead spending from 8 to 12 hours each day writing, principally on legal theory. By the 1780s, Bentham had come to know a number of the leading liberal (Whig) politicians and lawyers, but his ideas remained largely unappreciated. He wrote extensively on theoretical matters, though he also authored a number of practical proposals for social and political reform. In 1785, he briefly joined his brother Samuel in Russia, where he devised plans for the Panopticon—a model prison which he had hoped would interest the Czarina Catherine the Great. After his return to England in 1788, Bentham pursued the idea ...