Bentham in the Twentieth Century

  • Lord Robbins


May I begin by saying with what a sense of honour and pleasure I received your invitation to speak at this assembly. It is just forty-nine years since my father, anxious to give me the taste of a university education before being engulfed in the First World War, brought me to be interviewed — and admitted, age sixteen — by Gregory Foster, then Provost of this college; and although my stay here was a very short one, I never walk into this building without a feeling of nostalgia for the lectures where I first heard the great scholars of those days discoursing on the problems of history and literature at a grown-up level.


Working Rule Central Statistical Office Imaginative Projection Modern Economic Theory Utilitarian Calculus 
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  1. 2.
    Delivered 1923, reprinted in Wallas, Men and Ideas (1940) pp. 19–32.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    A comprehensive survey of Bentham’s achievements in this respect is to be found in W. S. Holdsworth, History of English Law, xiii (1952) 41–134.Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    Quoted by E. Halévy, The Growth of Philosophical Radicalism (1934) p. 495.Google Scholar
  4. 1.
    J. Bentham, The Theory of Legislation (Hildreth’s translation), ed. C. K. Ogden (1931) p. 325.Google Scholar
  5. 1.
    Jacob Viner, The Long View and the Short (Glencoe, Ill. 1958) p. 308. Professor Viner’s reference is to an early work by Bentham entitled The Situation and Relief of the Poor first published in 1897 in Arthur Young’s Annals of Agriculture, reprinted the same year as a pamphlet and reproduced in Bowring’s edition of Bentham’s Works, viii 367.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lord Robbins 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lord Robbins
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of EconomicsUK

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