Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
The theory of utility
Was one of philosophy's treasures,
Which Bentham made servility
To private self-interest and pleasures.
This nonsense pleased his followers,
Who hardly restrained their loud rootin':
"All later thinkers are borrowers;
Our Bentham's the great moral Newton!"
But Marx saw in old Jeremy's
Shopkeeper views, invalidity.
And as for being a genius, "He's
A genius of bourgeois stupidity!"
—JSH, "The Great Moral Newton" (1989)
Bentham's will gave a whole bundle of cash to
University College, London, on the condition that he be stuffed and put on permanent
display there. Naturally, since money talks, he was taken up on this offer, and
you can still go see old Jeremy if you wish. It makes you wonder if other
philosophers should also be sent to the taxidermist, perhaps posthaste!
Bentham, stuffed and on display.
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