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A History of Western Philosophy - Book 3: Chapter 26, The Utilitarians Summary & Analysis

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Book 3: Chapter 26, The Utilitarians Summary and Analysis

British philosophers were little affected by German thought except for Sir William Hamilton. Bentham was inspired by Locke, Hartley, and Helvetius, who exerted more political than philosophical influence as part of the British radicalism.

Bentham was born in 1748, but became a Radical in 1808. Although he wrote extensively, only some of his work was published. He was mainly interested in jurisprudence, being influenced by Helvetius and Beccaria. His doctrines were based on the association principle and the greatest happiness principle. The association of ideas was similar to the association of reflexes in Pavlov, who deduced that reflexes could be transmitted through stimulus, where reactions produced could be used in the same way in the association of ideas.

Bentham thought that good was related to pleasure and happiness while all were synonymous. He also wanted to construct...

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