Zitate von Jeremy Bentham

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Jeremy Bentham

Geburtstag: 15. Februar 1748
Todesdatum: 6. Juni 1832

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Jeremy Bentham war ein englischer Jurist, Philosoph und Sozialreformer.

Bentham gilt als Begründer des klassischen Utilitarismus. Er war einer der wichtigsten Sozialreformer Englands im 19. Jahrhundert und ein Vordenker des modernen Wohlfahrtsstaats. Er forderte allgemeine Wahlen, das Frauenstimmrecht, die Abschaffung der Todesstrafe, Tierrechte, die Legalisierung jeglicher sexuellen Präferenz und die Pressefreiheit. Er gilt als Vordenker des Feminismus, als Vorkämpfer der Demokratie, des Liberalismus und des Rechtsstaats. Bentham ist aber auch bekannt für seine scharfe Kritik an der französischen Menschenrechtserklärung und sein Eintreten für Wucherzinsen. Auch lieferte er Argumente für einen legitimen Einsatz der Folter und entwickelte mit dem Panoptikum ein Modell-Gefängnis, das Michel Foucault als Symbol für die Überwachungs- und Herrschaftsstrukturen der modernen Zivilgesellschaft wählte.

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Zitate Jeremy Bentham

„Warum sollte das Gesetz seinen Schutz irgendeinem empfindenden Wesen verweigern? Die Zeit wird kommen, da die Menschheit alles, was atmet, unter ihren Schirm und Schild nehmen wird.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Principles of Penal Law (1838). Übersetzung Vsop.de ("Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being? The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes." - Principles of Penal Law. From the French of Dumont and the MSS of Bentham. Part III. Chapter XVI Of the Cultivation of Benevolence. p. 562 , in: Works, now first collected under the superintendence of John Bowring. Part II. Edinburgh-London-Dublin 1838.

„Die Natur hat die Menschheit unter die Herrschaft zweier souveräner Gebieter – Leid und Freude – gestellt. Es ist an ihnen aufzuzeigen, was wir tun sollen, wie auch zu bestimmen, was wir tun werden. Sowohl der Maßstab für Richtig und Falsch als auch die Kette der Ursachen und Wirkungen sind an ihrem Thron festgemacht.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham, in Otfried Höffe. Einführung in die utilitaristische Ethik: Klassische und zeitgenössische Texte. 2., überarbeitete Auflage. Tübingen: Francke, 1992. ISBN 3-7720-1690-1, p. 55 "Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne." - An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (printed 1780, published 1789). Chapter I: Of The Principle of Utility. I. en.wikisource http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/An_Introduction_to_the_Principles_of_Morals_and_Legislation/Chapter_I

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„Vielleicht kommt einmal der Tag, da die übrigen Geschöpfe die Rechte erwerben werden, die ihnen nie, wenn nicht durch die Hand der Tyrannei, hätten vorenthalten bleiben können. Die Franzosen haben bereits entdeckt, dass schwarze Haut kein Grund ist, ein menschliches Wesen hilflos der Laune eines Peinigers auszuliefern. Ebenso mag eines Tages erkannt werden, dass auch die Zahl der Beine, Behaarung oder ein Schwanz ein unzureichender Grund dafür sind, ein empfindendes Wesen solchem Schicksal zu überlassen. […] Die Frage ist nicht, ob sie Verstand haben oder sprechen können, sondern ob sie leiden.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
über Tierschutz, in: The Principles of Morals and Legislation (1828). Übersetzung Vsop.de ("The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. [...] the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?" - An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. A new edition, corrected by the author. London 1828. Chapter 17: Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence. IV. Fußnote "Interest of the inferior animals improperly neglected in legislation". p. 235, 236

„Judges of elegance and taste consider themselves as benefactors to the human race, whilst they are really only the interrupters of their pleasure“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: Judges of elegance and taste consider themselves as benefactors to the human race, whilst they are really only the interrupters of their pleasure … There is no taste which deserves the epithet good, unless it be the taste for such employments which, to the pleasure actually produced by them, conjoin some contingent or future utility: there is no taste which deserves to be characterized as bad, unless it be a taste for some occupation which has mischievous tendency. Théorie des peines et des récompenses (1811); translation by Richard Smith, The Rationale of Reward, J. & H. L. Hunt, London, 1825, Bk. 3, Ch. 1

„Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: It is with government, as with medicine. They have both but a choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils: In making this choice, what ought to be the object of the legislator? He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them. There are then two things to be regarded; the evil of the offence and the evil of the law; the evil of the malady and the evil of the remedy. An evil comes rarely alone. A lot of evil cannot well fall upon an individual without spreading itself about him, as about a common centre. In the course of its progress we see it take different shapes: we see evil of one kind issue from evil of another kind; evil proceed from good and good from evil. All these changes, it is important to know and to distinguish; in this, in fact, consists the essence of legislation. Principles of Legislation (1830), Ch. X : Analysis of Political Good and Evil; How they are spread in society

„The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny.“

—  Jeremy Bentham, buch An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789; 1823), Context: The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer? Ch. 17 : Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence

„He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: It is with government, as with medicine. They have both but a choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils: In making this choice, what ought to be the object of the legislator? He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them. There are then two things to be regarded; the evil of the offence and the evil of the law; the evil of the malady and the evil of the remedy. An evil comes rarely alone. A lot of evil cannot well fall upon an individual without spreading itself about him, as about a common centre. In the course of its progress we see it take different shapes: we see evil of one kind issue from evil of another kind; evil proceed from good and good from evil. All these changes, it is important to know and to distinguish; in this, in fact, consists the essence of legislation. Principles of Legislation (1830), Ch. X : Analysis of Political Good and Evil; How they are spread in society

„Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do.“

—  Jeremy Bentham, buch An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789; 1823), Context: Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light. Ch. 1 : Of the Principle of Utility

„That which has no existence cannot be destroyed — that which cannot be destroyed cannot require anything to preserve it from destruction. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense — nonsense upon stilts.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Anarchical Fallacies (1843), Context: That which has no existence cannot be destroyed — that which cannot be destroyed cannot require anything to preserve it from destruction. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense — nonsense upon stilts. But this rhetorical nonsense ends in the old strain of mischievous nonsense for immediately a list of these pretended natural rights is given, and those are so expressed as to present to view legal rights. And of these rights, whatever they are, there is not, it seems, any one of which any government can, upon any occasion whatever, abrogate the smallest particle. A Critical Examination of the Declaration of Rights

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„The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer?“

—  Jeremy Bentham, buch An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789; 1823), Context: The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer? Ch. 17 : Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence

„Create all the happiness you are able to create: remove all the misery you are able to remove.“

—  Jeremy Bentham
Context: Create all the happiness you are able to create: remove all the misery you are able to remove. Every day will allow you to add something to the pleasure of others, or to diminish something of their pains. And for every grain of enjoyment you sow in the bosom of another, you shall find a harvest in your own bosom; while every sorrow which you pluck out from the thoughts and feelings of a fellow creature shall be replaced by beautiful peace and joy in the sanctuary of your soul. Advise to a young girl (22 June 1830)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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