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Reappraising Political TheoryRevisionist Studies in the History of Political Thought$
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Terence Ball

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198279952

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198279957.001.0001

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Benthamite Discipline and Punishment; Or, What Foucault Missed

Benthamite Discipline and Punishment; Or, What Foucault Missed

(p.158) 7 Benthamite Discipline and Punishment; Or, What Foucault Missed
Reappraising Political Theory

Terence Ball (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, I show how James Mill reworks and recycles the argument of a classic text—viz. Plato's Republic—and uses Plato's theory of justice and just punishment to legitimize Bentham's plans for penal reform. Pace Michel Foucault, who views Bentham as the thoroughly modern doyen of the `surveillance society’, I argue that much modern political theory has classical roots and that we should therefore be wary of post‐modern genealogists’ claims about discursive continuities between discrete epistemes or systems of thought.

Keywords:   Jeremy Bentham, discourse, Michel Foucault, justice, James Mill, penal reform, Plato, political theory, post‐modernism, punishment

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