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Bentham's PrisonA Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary$
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Janet Semple

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198273875

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198273875.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Bentham's Prison

Janet Semple

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the coverage of the book, which focuses on English philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham's failed attempt to build a prison called panopticon. It examines unexplored manuscripts that tell the story of Bentham's prolonged negotiations with the government and why the panopticon was never built. The book deals with the panopticon as an event in penal and political history. It also analyses some of the criticism of Bentham's obsession with building the panopticon and being involved in its day-to-day operations as an administrator.

Keywords:   panopticon, Jeremy Bentham, prison, penal history, political history

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