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This week we will attempt to do two things in our lecture and associated tutorial (to be held in week three). Firstly we will trace in broad outline the evolution of western European thinking about the nature reason and the passions, and their influence on human thought and action.
Arguably a good way to do this is to consider how the mind and its material substratum, the brain, were understood by four of the most influential philosophers of the European Enlightenment: René Descartes (1596 - 1650), John Locke (1632-1704), David Hume, and Jeremy Bentham.
Our second goal will be to look at what one leading physician of the early eighteenth century made of the role of the passions in human behavior. The physician in question was George Cheyne (1671-1743), whom we encountered last week in connection with the influence of Newtonian thought on medicine.
In differing ways these thinkers were to be extremely influential in shaping contemporary thinking about the nature of human understanding and motivation.
During the course of what we would now regard as a comparatively short life, Descartes greatly preoccupied himself with trying to resolve the question of what exactly was the relations between mind and body. In his writings - which we will study and discuss in this module - we can see the beginnings of a way of thinking about the conscious self and external reality that is still profoundly influential.
Descartes firmly believed that the methods of the natural sciences as they were understood in his day could be applied to illuminate the essential nature of humanity.
In Descartes time, natural philosophers increasingly came to regard nature as comprised of a myriad interconnected physical processes. The human body was seen as essentially a microcosm of the external universe in the sense that the same physical process to be found at work in nature were responsible for sustaining human life and reproduction. With few exceptions, these seventeenth-century intellectuals saw these processes as divinely created and controlled. However, a number were sceptical in varying degrees about the extent to which God intervened to influence or exercise control over the workings of nature. In important ways. They in turn was severely criticised by theologians and more conventionally religious intellectuals.
Descartes sought to resolve what he and other contemporary writers saw as a growing tension between champions of scientific investigation of nature and their critics. Much of this tension centred on the question of the relation between mind and body. Within orthodox Christian thought, the soul was seen as an eternal and immaterial entity governing consciousness. Yet with the tendency to see nature in mechanistic terms the question arose just what was the relationship between the soul/mind and the body. How did the soul/mind activate bodily actions? To give a simple illustration: I think about something. I find that something is funny. I laugh. But what is the connection betweeen my inner self and the external material processes involved in my laughing about the thing I have experienced?
Descartes sought to explain how mind/soul influenced bodily processes as follows: he argued that we cannot accept anything to be true unless we have the ability to perceive it clearly. He believed that we have to examine all phenomena we perceive, trying wherever possible to break it down into its most simple elements. From analysing things in their simplicity, we should then attempt to trace how simple things are interrelated so that they can become quite complex.
We should not be surprized to learn that Descartes was a skilled mathematician, with a special passion for geometry. Indeed, subsequent critics were to hold that the problem - and shortcomings of Descartes' reasoning was that he sought to explain the complexity of existence by recourse to a style of reasoning akin to mathematical theorem building. For Descartes, reasoning with numbers was no different from reasoning about the actions of humanity. While observation of the world was important, human senses were, Descartes argued, fallible; and the truth or otherwise of observations could only be decided by the degree to which what was observed squared with precise reasoning. It was for this reason, incidentally, that we commonly speak of Descartes as being a rationalist, rather than an empiricist - a term which we will explore in greater depth when we move on to examine the writings of British philosophers, such as Locke and Hume.
Descartes was no sceptic. Quite the opposite. He held that certainty in reasoning was possible, beleiving that human capacity for reasoning was a divinely bestowed faculty. Where he was sceptical was in believing that we need to be sceptical about evidence obtained by sensory engagement with the external world. Indeed, he argued that investigation of the nature of existence had to proceed from the premise that there is only one thing that humans can be truly certain of. This is the truth of the proposition that any right reasoning human beings must be driven to doubt. In doubting, humans are thinking. And in thinking it follows that the only thing they cannot doubt is consciousness of themselves as thinking beings and the idea that there is a God to whom they owe this power of consciousness.
Hence Descartes' celebrated foundational axiom: cogito, ergo sum: I think therefore I am. But we also need to see that Descartes further argued that the reasoning subject - i.e. the person who thinks and thus is - is more real and certain than the material world perceived by the senses. He then asked whether there was anything else that could be understood with equal certainty and concluded that, yes, there was: the idea of perfection. It also followed logically to his mind that the idea of perfection could not have been obtained by reflection upon the evidence of the senses. Thus the idea of perfection had to be an innate idea, bestowed upon the reasoning subject by God.
Descartes was to described - and, as we will see, criticized by later thinkers such as John Locke - as having been mistaken in believing in the existence of innate ideas.
But let us say a little more about Descartes' belief in our innately possessing an idea of perfection. Descartes argued that humanity seeks to know the world. The things we perceive: trees, rocks, animals could all be mere phantasms of the mind. However, Descartes argues that what shows us that they cannot possibly be phantasms is the fact that they have characteristics that can be percieved by with our reason. These can - most commonly - be properties that can be apprehended and analysed, such as height, weight, and density. However, other properties may be more likely to be interpreted as they are mediated by our senses in subjective, idiosyncratic ways. Consider, for example, how we relate to colour, smell, and taste.
The Duality of mind and the body
Descartes regarded reality as broken into two realms, or substances. One was the realm (or substance) of thought, ideas or mind. The other was the realm of matter, or what Descartes commonly called "extension" - because things within this realm take up space. He saw these two realms as existing independently of each other.
Descartes argued that these two substances (mind and extension) were both created by God.
Humanity he saw as thus having a dual nature. Women and men are beings that think (and therefore are) while at the same time they take up space. The body reflects the perfection of its omnipotent and all wise creator. Yet body is also subject to natural laws that also reflect the the perfection of their omnipotent and all wise creator. Moreover, the mind has the ability to operate independently of the body. It can exist in ghostly solitude.
The nature this dualism is illustrated by the above illustration, derived from a 1662 edition of Descartes' Treatise on the Nature Man. By virtue of the nervous system, a child will withdraw its hand from a flame before being seriously burnt.
Descartes believed that there was indeed a physyical mechanism linking body and mind. This was the pineal gland deep within the tissues of the brain.
In sum, Descartes held that the body would largely operate according to processes governing its existence, reproduction and eventual decomposition. In the above illustration, the mind may be affected not simply by sensations of heat, but also by related feelings and passions, such as fear.
Ultimately the goal of humanity is to seek to behave rationally, transcending the effects of material forces of the body and their influence over the reasoning mind.
After briefly discussing how Descartes' account of human understanding, this week's lecture will consider how it differed from arguably one of the most important figures in the history of the human sciences: the English physician and moral philosopher, John Locke (1632-1704).
Locke's account of human understanding differed from that of Descartes' - in large part because of the influence of British intellectual and religious traditions, as well as his interests in contemporary British scientific assumptions and practices, notably in the realm of what we today would call physics.
In my lecture, I will try briefly to summarize Locke's views on the origin of ideas, and his thinking about the nature and reliability of evidence obtained by sensory experience.
Portrait of John Locke by Sir Godfrey Kneller, c. 1698
Portrait of Isaac Newton by Kneller (1702).
In summarizing Locke's contribution to our thinking about mind, brain and body, I will pay particular attention to how the scientific revolution of the late sixteenth and seventeenth-centuries changed European thinking in many important respects.
Isaac Newton was elected to the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics in the University of Cambridge in 1669. His research was initially focused on optics, and this was the topic of his first lecture course in 1670.
Newton's greatest achievements were in the realms of physics and celestial mechanics, culminating in his theory of universal gravitation. By 1666 Newton had early versions of his three laws of motion.
The Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, is held to be as one of the greatest of scientific books. In the work, Newton analyzed the motion of bodies in resisting and non-resisting media under the action of centripetal forces. The results were applied to orbiting bodies, projectiles, pendulums, and free-fall near the Earth.
Newton also demonstrated that the planets were attracted toward the Sun
by a force varying as the inverse square of the distance and generalized that all heavenly bodies mutually attract one another.
This in turn led Newton to formulate the following law of universal gravitation:
"all matter attracts all other matter with a force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them."
John Locke can be said to be one of the first and most important "Social Newtonians". Whereas earlier rationalists, notably Descartes, had argued that true knowledge could be established by thought alone, Locke argued that truth was necessarily established by employing the "experiential" or "empiricist" methods of the experimental sciences.
Locke argued that all we can know is what he perceive through our senses. Indeed, he argued that at birth the human mind was a "tabula rasa" - an empty or clean slate. In his his writings Locke also likened the mind at birth to an unfurnished room, which we fill with objects - or rather ideas - as we journey through life. Our engagement with reality gives rise to what Locke called simple ideas.
That said, Locke did not believe that we simply receive ideas in a passive way. he believed the mind played an active part in the formulation of ideas. He saw it as active in comparing, contrasting, doubting or believing ideas.
Perhaps most importantly, he saw the mind working so as to create complex ideas from what could be a myriad simple ideas formed as a result of the mind receiving sensations via the senses.
Think about your encounter with any object in the world. In what ways can it be understood as giving rise to complex ideas? Can you break up those ideas into more simple ideas? Is it possible to have ideas that cannot be traced back to simple ideas arising from sensations derived via the senses?
Locke argued that ideas that could not be traced back to simple ideas were false. However, he realized that this raised the question of how trustworthy our senses are. Remember: Descartes had been sceptical of the reliability of our senses - as Locke was very much aware.
Locke suggested thinking of our senses as offering us knowledge of what he called primary qualities about things in the world. These primary qualities were much the same as those that Descartes described as those we are able to perceive as truly existing by the exercise of our reason - that is, we can ascertain that they have properties that can be apprehended and analysed, such as height, weight, and density.
Locke further argued that we can also sense other qualities in things, such as colour, smell and taste. These qualities he maintained were things that we cannot determine are real qualities inherent in things, but secondary qualities that may affect our senses in different ways.
Again, think of a colour, smell or taste. How would you describe it? How does the person sitting next to you describe the same phenomenon? Can we say that one or other person is right or wrong in how they describe the phenomenon they are experiencing?
Now, importantly, Locke further argued that it was possible for humanity to be sure of the truth of not only "extensible" or "primary" qualities of objects, but also the truth of certain propositions in the realm of morals. Like Descartes, Locke believed that every person is possessed of reason, and that reason is the means by which we know God and various truths of His creating, such as our possession of an inalienable right to pursue our happiness and liberty. Where Locke differed, however, was in holding that we can come to understand truths about the physical world and the realm of human behaviour through experiential or inductive reasoning about what we perceive. For Descartes, the ultimate test of truth lay with our ability to reason about experience from the possession of innate ideas about God, good and evil.
From Locke, I will turn to discuss David Hume's account of human understanding.
Today we tend to regard Hume as primarily a philosopher. But in his day, he was much better known for his historical writings and his essays on various moral, political and literary topics.
Within Hume's writings we find an urbane, ironic understanding of human nature. For Hume, people are swayed by passions, rather than being, as Locke saw it, rational actors capable of dispassionately appraising what might best serve their needs and interests. Moreover, Hume dismissed the idea that one could historically or abstractly consider human nature as if it were something existing beyond society. Humanity could only be understood by direct experiential observation or through appraising reliable historical evidence of their individual or collective actions. This invariably meant studying men and women within society.
Hume's empirical and often decidedly sociological study of human nature led him to become increasingly sceptical about the idea of social improvement. And especially in his later works, we find him discussing what his contemporaries saw as economic and social progress almost in negative terms. Hume saw the active maintenance of a civic culture of politeness and encouragement of commerce as necessary to counteract what he saw as humanity's natural tendencies to embrace popular or absolutist forms of governance. His Essay Of Civil Liberty , for example, was originally entitled, Of Liberty and Despotism. In this essay he draws upon the account of human nature he formulated in his Treatise of Human Nature (1739)
Hume believed the human mind was incapable of being firmly governed by reason. It was acutely susceptible to the power of the emotions as they were stimulated or subdued by the engagement of the senses with the body and the external world. In unfavourable existential circumstances, humanity easily fell to irrational thinking and behaviour. As Hume saw it, "the mind of man is subject to certain unaccountable terrors and apprehensions, proceeding from the unhappy situation of private or public affairs, from ill health, from a gloomy and melancholy disposition, or from the concurrence of these circumstances." Worse, in such a state of mind the presence of 'infinite unknown evils' of unknown causation were actively and fearfully assumed to be at work in the affairs of men.
Hume thus saw religious devotion as arising out of the mind's natural propensity to generate irrational hopes and fears. As he was to argue in his provocative 1757 essay " Of the Natural History of Religion", the weight of historical evidence irresistibly led to the conclusion that the earliest known forms of religion arose out of primitive humanity's being constantly at the mercy of natural forces. This not only ran contrary to orthodox Christian teachings in Hume's day, but also challenged theose of Hume's contemporaries who dismissed Christianity in favor of deism. Deism was grounded in the idea that humanity were essentially rational beings, whose earliest religions were more or less moral codes fashioned through calm and philosophical examination of the divine purpose as it found expression in the workings of natural law. For deist thinkers, religion was a dimension of human experience in which the agency of reason had gradually been diminished by the emergence of self interested classes of priests, who had ignorantly or knowingly cloaked religion in mystery and superstition.
Hume further believed that nuanced, empirical reasoning showed the natural propensity of the mind to find solace in religion was the ultimate cause of a discernible pattern in the course of human history. Religious feeling appeared historically to have oscillated between two distinct modes of expression. One, enthusiasm, was characterised by a milieu in which the minds of believers became possessed by the idea that they were in direct and unhindered communion with the divine will. The other, superstition, saw believers seek comfort individually and communally through the highly ritualised worship of places and objects, believing that the things adored were invested with divine power.
Hume's taxonomy of religiosity actually owed much to late seventeenth-century Anglican Whig intellectuals who after 1660 had sought to conceptualise the relations between Church and state in ways that neutralised the claims of both radical Puritans and Catholic apologists. What was innovative was Hume's rigorously empirical account of how these states of mind naturally arose, and his conclusion that religion, as a social phenomenon, fluctuated between these two mentalities with a regularity possibly warranting its being accorded the status of natural law.
During the course of his life, Hume became increasingly convinced that enthusiasm and superstition were forces determining historical change that his contemporaries neglected at their peril. By its very nature, enthusiasm disposed the mind to embrace apocalytic eschatologies, in which crucial stress was laid on the corruption of established religious institutions, the secular powers they sustained, and the salvation of a holy few apprised of the signs of the end of the known world through personal illumination. The era of the civil war a century before Hume saw offered abundant proof that such a faith, when allowed to spread amongst the lower classes of society, had caused the formation within the body politic of radical theocracies, whose converts had aggressively sought the democratic refashioning of church and state. By way of contrast, superstition seemed invariably to have manifest itself in religious behaviour facilitating the emergence of priestly castes. These castes fed parasitically off the body politic, were destructive of religious freedom, and stifled political liberty by entering into mutually beneficial alliances with absolutist or despotic styles of kingship. Over time they also inevitably behaved so as to seal their own downfall by provoking the re-emergence of enthusiasm.
For Hume, history taught that all but a few philosophical minds had proved able to resist embracing the 'phantoms' that ruled the lives of the majority of humanity. Even so, Hume saw the philosopher as having a crucial role to play in society. While historically, philosophy may have been unable to liberate humanity from the successive ebb and flow of superstition and enthusiasm, speculation grounded in the experiential mode of reason advocated by Hume appeared potentially the best means to decelerate and variously mitigate their social impact. This was especially so if younger more receptive members of the elite - especially those destined for parliament or careers in the service of the state - could be philosophically instructed in the baneful effects of both religious innovation and tradition. And the most effective means of achieving this was engage their powers of imagination so that the moral lesson was vividly impressed upon them through the medium of polite letters.
This was Hume's ambition in the Stuart volumes of his History of England, and his essays on moral, political and literary subjects. Indeed, as we will see, Hume offers us a rigorously empirical, richly historicised, but disturbingly sceptical account of society.
In keys respects, we can see Bentham's thought as the culmination of the British empiricist tradition deriving largely from Locke and subsequently refined by Hume. However, it is important to see that Bentham was equally an admirer of eighteenth-century French materialist thinkers, notably D'Holbach, Helvétius and De la Mettrie; and he also admired Voltaire's anti-clericalism.
Bentham was especially concerned to subject the life-ways and social institutions of his day to sustained empirical scrutiny and suggest how they might be reformed.
In this, Bentham was especially influenced by Hume; and as we will see, he drew upon Hume's account of the development of human understanding in which the passions were a powerful force in associating ideas within the mind. Hume had argued for the need for the moral world of humanity to be analysed using the methods of the natural sciences.
This lead Bentham to argue that modes of human interaction and the social institutions to which they give rise are in reality no more the sum of the interests of the individuals who create and sustain them.
This reasoning underpins Bentham's notion that our private and social lives are immersed within and shaped by " fictions". Hume saw some of these "fictions" - religious doctrines, for example - as having some utility in that they help preserve the established social order. Yet, Bentham saw nothing could justify a practice or institution beyond its being demonstrably congruent with human nature and thus served to maximized human happiness.
This was to be the essence of his principle of utility: a thing can only be good to the extent that it is useful. Its usefulness, Bentham argues, is the extent to which it enables people to experience pleasure or minimizes their pain. He dismissed contemporary thinkers such as Kant's stress upon the individual will as largely an irrelevant consideration in improving the human condition. What is needed is the rigorous application of a "moral calculus" to society and its problems, with a view to ensuring the happiness of the majority, and accepting that this may require some to experience a just measure of pain.
Bentham's writings can be tedious due to his often obsessive desire explain in rationally consistent detail how our behaviour and institutions have actually run counter to our nature, and how they should be reformed. In this module, we will be looking in particular at one of his more "readable" works, in which he advocates the principal of utility being applied to the punishment and reform of criminals.
I would strongly recommend the following:
Descartes, R. A Discourse on Method, Introduction, Parts I, II, III, IV, V. These texts can be acquired online from http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1698&Itemid=28
Descartes, R. Meditations, Dedication and Meditations I, V, VI.
These texts can be acquired online from http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1698&Itemid=28
John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book I, Chapters I, II; Book II, Chapters I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, XII, XIII, XXI; Book IV, Chapters I, II, III, IV, X, XI. The best scholarly is that by ed. Peter H. Nidditch, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975. However, any edition will serve our purposes in this course.
David Hume, An Inquiry concerning Human Understanding, ed. T.H. Green and T.H. Grosse, Vol. 4, London: 1886, Sections I, II, IV, XII, X. This text can be acquired online at http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=341&Itemid=28
David Hume, Essays, Moral, Political and Literary, E.F. Miller, ed., Indianapolis, Liberty Fund: 1985, Essay IX, pp. 577-589. This text is also available online from the Liberty Fund's Library of Liberty.
John Stuart Mill, "What Utilitarianism Is", The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume 10 - Essays on Ethics, Religion and Society, ed. John M. Robson, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969, Chapter II, pp. 209-226.
Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, ed. J. Bowring, Vol. Four, London, 1838-1843, "Panoptican; or the Inspection-House..." Briston, England: Theommes Press, 1995, pp. i-vii, 39-211. Text acquired from http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1925&Itemid=28
Please note: I do not expect you to read all of Bentham's treatise on the "Panoptican" - merely enough to appreciate how his arguments about the reformation of criminals are a concrete expression of his Utilitarian ideas.
There is a wealth of scholarship on Descartes, Locke, Hume and Bentham in the UQ Library. Here, I have recommended only those sources that can be accessed electronically via the UQ library or from other places online.
Brown, Theodore M. 1987. Medicine in the shadow of the 'Principia.' Journal of the History of Ideas 48, (4) (10): 629-49.
Guerrini, Anita. 1999. A diet for a sensitive soul: Vegetarianism in eighteenth-century Britain. Eighteenth-Century Life 23, (2) (05): 34.
---. 1999. The hungry soul: George Cheyne and the construction of femininity. Eighteenth-Century Studies 32, (3) (Spring 99): 279.
---. 1985. James Keill, George Cheyne, and Newtonian physiology, 1690-1740. Journal of the History of Biology 18, (2) (Summer1985): 247-66.
Ishizuka, Hisao. 2006. The elasticity of the animal fibre: Movement and life in Enlightenment medicine. History of Science 44, (4) (12): 435-68.
Shapin, Steven. 2003. Trusting George Cheyne: Scientific expertise, common sense, and moral authority in early eighteenth-century dietetic medicine. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 77, (2) (Summer2003): 263.
Turner, Bryan S. 1982. The government of the body: Medical regimens and the rationalization of diet. British Journal of Sociology 33, (2) (06): 254-69.
René Descartes and the Legacy of Mind/Body Dualism, at Mind and Body: René Descartes to William James. by Robert H. Wozniak, http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exhibitions/Mind/Descartes.html
Descartes, MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive, University of Saint Andrews, http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Mathematicians/Descartes.html
"Descartes' Epistemology", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-epistemology/
Also, the following works are available online via the UQ Library:
Broughton, Janet, and John Carriero. 2008. A companion to Descartes. Blackwell companions to philosophy. Vol. 38. Malden, MA; Oxford: Blackwell Pub.
Cottingham, John. 1992. The cambridge companion to Descartes. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Emmanuel, Steven M. 2001. The blackwell guide to the modern philosophers. Blackwell philosophy guides. Vol. 3. Oxford, UK; Malden, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Gaukroger, Stephen. 1995. Descartes. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
The following works are available online via the UQ Library:
Baldwin, James Mark. 1913. History of psychology. London: Watts & co.
Chappell, V. C. 1994. The cambridge companion to locke. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Locke, John, Esmond Samuel De Beer, and InteLex Corporation. 2004. The correspondence of john locke. Charlottesville, Va: InteLex Corporation.
---. 2004. The correspondence of john locke. Charlottesville, Va: InteLex Corporation.
Locke, John, and InteLex Corporation. 1995. Philosophical works and selected correspondence of john locke. Charlottesville, Va.: InteLex Corporation.
Locke, John, and John Locke. 1844. Locke's essays: An essay concerning human understanding. Philadelphia: James Kay, Jr. & Brother.
Newman, Lex. 2007. The cambridge companion to locke's "essay concerning human understanding". Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Schroeder, Mark. 2007. Slaves of the passions. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
John Robertson, 'Hume, David (1711-1776)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2007, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/14141
The following works are available online via the UQ Library:
Allison, Henry E., and Oxford University Press. 2008. Custom and reason in hume. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hardin, Russell. 2007. David hume. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
Hume, David, Thomas Hill Green, Thomas Hodge Grose, Norman Kemp Smith, and InteLex Corporation. 2000; 1995. The complete works and correspondence of david hume. Charlottesville, Va.: InteLex Corporation.
Norton, David Fate. 1993. The cambridge companion to hume. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Norton, David Fate, and Jacqueline Taylor. 2009. The cambridge companion to hume. Cambridge companions to philosophy. 2nd ed. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Radcliffe, Elizabeth Schmidt. 2008. A companion to hume. Blackwell companions to philosophy. Vol. 40. Oxford; Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
---. 2008. A companion to hume. Blackwell companions to philosophy. Vol. 40. Oxford; Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
"At the end of the South Cloisters of the main building of UCL (University College London) stands a wooden cabinet, which has been a source of curiosity and perplexity to visitors."
'The ' Auto-Icon of Jeremy Bentham at University College London' by C.F.A. Marmoy, from Medical History, Vol. II, No. 2, April 1958, pp. 77-86.
F. Rosen, 'Bentham, Jeremy (1748-1832)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2007, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/2153
Articles and Online Introductions
The Journal of Bentham Studies, hosted by the Bentham Project, UCL, http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Bentham-Project/journal/index_jbs.htm
Entry on Bentham, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/b/bentham.htm
Amnon Goldworth, 'The Meaning of Bentham's Greatest Happiness Principle', Journal of the History of Philosophy, Volume 7, Number 3, July 1969. Project Muse.
Melissa Schwartzberg, 'Jeremy Bentham on Fallibility and Infallibility', Journal of the History of Ideas,68.4 (2007) 562-586. Project Muse.
Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty, LibriVox, http://librivox.org/offences-against-ones-self-paederasty-by-jeremy-bentham/