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Law and Philosophy$
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Michael Freeman and Ross Harrison

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199237159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237159.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 March 2021

Number and Government

Number and Government

(p.304) 17 Number and Government
Law and Philosophy

Claire Grant

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Bentham's argument, and presents a qualified defence of it against objections about number and about egalitarian distribution. Bentham held that the principal aim of government was to guard against pains, and especially those inflicted by people upon other people. The chapter focuses on a particular calculus of pains, namely that elaborated in Bentham's copious writings on crime and its reduction. Bentham wrote extensively on the crime problem, and integrally to his most important treatises. His thinking in numbers about crime may be viewed as a testing ground for the merits of practical calculus, as well as for examination of his egalitarian credentials.

Keywords:   Bentham, thinking in numbers, egalitarian distribution, crime

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