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Secular UtilitarianismSocial Science and the Critique of Religion in the Thought of Jeremy Bentham$
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James E. Crimmins

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198277415

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198277415.001.0001

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Ethics and the Science of Legislation

Ethics and the Science of Legislation

Chapter:
(p.66) 2 Ethics and the Science of Legislation
Source:
Secular Utilitarianism
Author(s):

James E. Crimmins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198277415.003.0003

This chapter expands the analysis of the foundations of Bentham's utilitarian science of society to include his thoughts on ethics and legislation as they developed in the 1770S and 1780s. It examines his critique of the role of religion in contemporary moral theory and the prominent role he gave to jurisprudence as the key to maximizing social happiness. It is argued that this initial attempt to develop a secular science of society provided Bentham with the impetus for his later exhaustive onslaught on the ‘alliance’ of Church and State.

Keywords:   alliance, utilitarianism, religion, ethics, legislation, moral theory, jurisprudence, social happiness

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