The Panopticon Writings (Radical Thinkers) by Jeremy Bentham

By Jeremy Bentham

The Panopticon undertaking for a version legal obsessed the English thinker Jeremy Bentham for nearly twenty years. finally, the undertaking got here to not anything; the Panopticon used to be by no means outfitted. however it is exactly this that makes the Panopticon undertaking the simplest exemplification of Bentham’s personal concept of fictions, in accordance with which non-existent fictitious entities may have all too actual results. there's most likely no construction that has stirred extra philosophical controversy than Bentham’s Panopticon. The Panopticon isn't really only, as Foucault suggestion, “a merciless, creative cage”, within which topics collaborate of their personal subjection, yet a lot more—constructing the Panopticon produces not just a jail, but in addition a god inside it. The Panopticon is a computing device which on meeting is already inhabited via a ghost. it truly is during the Panopticon and the heavily comparable idea of fictions that Bentham has made his maximum influence on glossy concept; especially, at the conception of energy. The Panopticon writings are usually stated, infrequently learn. This version comprises the whole “Panopticon Letters”, including choices from “Panopticon Postscript I” and “Fragment on Ontology”, Bentham’s fullest account of fictions. A accomplished creation by way of Miran Bozovic explores where of Panopticon in modern theoretical debate.

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Smith is poor by choice and thus should not receive the same benefits that Johnson receives. Justice does not require us to compensate individuals for inequalities they have voluntarily chosen. 9 By including leisure in the index of primary goods Rawls argues that those who choose not to work will have extra leisure stipulated as equal to the index of the least advantaged. This means that such individuals would not be entitled to public funds. 10 Firstly, we must ask what counts as work. Is work to be equated with paid employment?

What is needed, argues Rawls, is a political conception of justice. A conception that does not criticize any particular theory of the truth of moral judgements. A political conception adopts a restrained posture towards such questions and is thus presented as a free-standing view. Critics of Rawls’s revision have taken issue with the way Rawls has characterized his earlier view. Barry, for example, makes reference to Rawls’s comment that ‘while [a political] conception [of justice] is, of course, a moral conception, it is a moral conception worked out for a specific kind of subject, namely for political, social and economic institutions’ (Rawls, 1993: 11).

This phrase effectively captures the fundamental tension in Rawls’s project. qxd 11/5/03 2:31 PM 30 Page 30 Introduction to Contemporary Political Theory political order. As we shall see in the next chapter, other political theorists appeal to our moral sensibilities but they come to very different conclusions concerning how our institutions are to be arranged. The ideas of society as a fair system of cooperation and citizens as free and equal persons could be invoked to justify a radically different type of political regime.

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