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Sunday

Next Talk: 'Jeremy Bentham and Sex' by Professor Paul Kelly on 10 May 2016

Abstract:
"​Throughout the nineteenth century Utilitarians such a John Stuart Mill had sought to rebut Carlyle's charge that psychological hedonism was no more than a philosophy for swine. Jeremy Bentham, JS Mill's intellectual godfather, was unconcerned by such high mindedness and in a series of unpublished works written between 1814-1817 he addressed the issue the regulation of sexual behaviour. My talk will address those works and set them in the context of Bentham's broader utilitarian philosophy and provide an assessment of whether the philosophy of swine criticism was merited. The talk will be of interest to those interested in ethics and moral philosophy, utilitarianism and the history of nineteenth century English philosophy. I cannot guarantee that it will be of great interest to those whose primary interest is sex! "