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Utility, Publicity, and LawEssays on Bentham's Moral and Legal Philosophy$
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Gerald J. Postema

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198793175

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198793175.001.0001

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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: 27 July 2021

Interests, Universal and Particular

Interests, Universal and Particular

Chapter:
(p.121) 6 Interests, Universal and Particular
Source:
Utility, Publicity, and Law
Author(s):

Gerald J. Postema

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198793175.003.0006

The ultimate end of government, and the aim of all morality, Bentham insisted, is the advancement of the universal interest. The universal interest, according to Bentham, is that interest of a person common to himself and every other member of the community. It (1) excludes all particular interests; (2) includes interests common to all members of community; and (3) that in it each member has a share. Social institutions designed to serve the universal interest are likely to call for the sacrifice of personal interests, but they also make pursuit of such personal interests possible, and always include each member in the benefits resulting from the realization of the universal interest. While the (personal or private) interests of individual members may be sacrificed, individuals are not. Each member is accorded a substantial share in the interest of all.

Keywords:   particular interest, public goods, public philosophy, public utility, sinister interest, universal interest

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