cover of book

Bentham and Australia: Convicts, Utility and Empire
edited by Tim Causer, Margot Finn and Philip Schofield
University College London, 2022
Cloth: 978-1-78735-820-1 | Paper: 978-1-78735-819-5

Distinguished scholars contextualize and critically assess Jeremy Bentham’s writings on Australia.

This volume considers Jeremy Bentham’s Australian writings. In the first part of the volume, Bentham’s works are placed in their historical contexts, while the second part provides a critical assessment of the historical accuracy and plausibility of Bentham’s arguments against transportation from the British Isles. In the third part, attention turns to Bentham’s claim that New South Wales was founded illegally and to the imperial and colonial constitutional ramifications of that claim. The authors also discuss Bentham’s work of 1831 in which he supports the establishment of a free colony on the southern coast of Australia. In the final part, the authors shed light on the history of Bentham’s panopticon penitentiary scheme, his views on the punishment and reform of criminals and what role, if any, religion had to play in that regard, and discuss apparently panopticon-inspired institutions built in the Australian colonies.
This collection will appeal to readers interested in Bentham’s life and thought, the history of transportation from the British Isles and of British penal policy more generally, colonial and imperial history, Indigenous history, legal and constitutional history, and religious history.

See other books on: Australia | Causer, Tim | Convicts | Schofield, Philip | Utilitarianism
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