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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jeremy Bentham

On Bentham and the Benthamites, see the classic work by Élie Halévy, The Growth of Philosophic Radicalism (1928, Boston: Beacon Press, 1955). For an excellent critique of the utilitarians, see John Plamenatz, The English Utilitarians (2nd ed., Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1958); Bentham is discussed in Chapter 4. For a discussion of Bentham, the Benthamite circle, and the radicals, see William E.S. Thomas, The Philosophic Radicals: Nine Studies in Theory and Practice, 1817–1841 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1979). On Bentham as a weak reed as a laissez-fairist, see Ellen Frankel Paul, Moral Revolution and Economic Science (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979), pp. 45–80. The classic article on Bentham as a statist economist is T.W. Hutchison, ‘Bentham as an Economist’, Economic Journal, 66 (June 1956), pp. 288–306, reprinted in J. Spengler and W.R. Allen, Essays in Economic Thought (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1960), pp 330–48. On Bentham as a pre-Skinnerite, see Douglas C. Long, Bentham on Liberty (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1977). Gertrude Himmelfarb's blistering critique of Bentham as panopticon planner is in her Victorian Minds (1968, Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1975), and in her ‘Bentham's Utopia’, in Himmelfarb, Marriage and Morals Among the Victorians (New York: Knopf, 1986), pp. 111–43. For a critique of utilitarianism as a basis for laissez-faire, see Murray N. Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1982), pp. 20Iff. Also see Rothbard, ‘Praxeology, Value Judgments, and Public Policy’, in E. Dolan (ed.), The Foundations of Modern Austrian Economics (Kansas City: Sheed & Ward, 1976), pp. 89–111.
For Bentham's economic writings, see the definitive three-volume edition by Werner Stark, Jeremy Bentham's Economic Writings (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1952–54).

Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought (2 volume set)

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