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In the Interest of the GovernedA Study in Bentham's Philosophy of Utility and Law$
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David Lyons

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198239642

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239642.001.0001

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Motivation and Control.

Motivation and Control.

Chapter:
(p.125) 7 Motivation and Control.
Source:
In the Interest of the Governed
Author(s):

David Lyons

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239642.003.0007

This chapter presents a further discussion of Bentham's concept of the law. Permissive laws are necessarily uncoercive and unobligative, for on Bentham's analysis they are purely permissive and not at all restrictive. But even Bentham's restrictive or ‘imperative’ laws are not necessarily coercive or obligative. Bentham was unclear about the relations between sanctions and the restrictions they are supposed to support, but he did indicate that laws used only to lay down guidelines for behaviour can be neither coercive nor obligative. Some laws might rely on extra-legal sanctions entirely, and rewards might be used instead of punishments to motivate behaviour. Bentham allowed these things to be possible, but he maintained that they would not be wise: he thought that rewards and extralegal sanctions were so unreliable that any guidelines worth propounding ought to be supported firmly by legally authorized coercive sanctions.

Keywords:   Bentham, law, force, coercive sanctions, motivation, social control

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