Frases de Jeremy Bentham

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Jeremy Bentham

Data de nascimento: 15. Fevereiro 1748
Data de falecimento: 6. Junho 1832

Jeremy Bentham foi filósofo, jurista e um dos últimos iluministas a propor a construção de um sistema de filosofia moral, não apenas formal e especulativa, mas com a preocupação radical de alcançar uma solução a prática exercida pela sociedade de sua época. As propostas têm, portanto, caráter filosófico, reformador, e sistemático.

O jurista, juntamente com John Stuart Mill e James Mill, foi tradicionalmente considerado como o difusor do utilitarismo, teoria ética normativa que se objetiva a responder todas as questões acerca do fazer, admirar e viver em termos da maximização da utilidade e da felicidade. Ou seja, para ele, as ações devem ser analisadas diretamente em função da tendência de aumentar ou reduzir o bem-estar das partes afetadas. E teria, ainda, buscado a extensão deste utilitarismo a todo o campo da moral .

Seus escritos têm como principal objetivo uma reforma legislativa que permitisse implementar suas teorias subjacentes. Por isso, acreditava que para que houvesse um direito forte com a aplicação de suas teorias deveria haver uma autoridade e um governo que o sustentasse.

É atribuída a Bentham a idealização do Panopticon, ideia que teria sido extraída de cartas escritas pelo jurista em Crecheff, na Rússia, em 1787, destinadas a um amigo. A partir destes escritos, foi possível extrair um modelo estrutural que seria capaz de ser aplicado as mais diversas instituições , como forma de otimização da vigilância e economia de pessoas para realizar tal função. Esta estrutura é caracterizada por um edifício circular que possui uma torre de vigilância e celas à sua volta. Cada uma das celas teria uma abertura para a entrada de luz e portas com grade para a difusão da luz no interior do edifício.

Porém, a difusão da luz se daria de modo que o encarcerado não conseguiria enxergar o exterior, nem o vigilante presente no centro da torre. Todo esse mecanismo estrutural teria como objetivo a impactação psicológica sobre os encarcerados, para que eles se sentissem observados todo o tempo. Sem conseguir enxergar o que ocorre externamente ao edifício, eles seriam tomados por um enorme sentimento de solidão, mesmo que estivessem “acompanhados” pelo vigilante durante todo o tempo. Bentham acreditava que este impacto nunca seria esquecido por aqueles que passassem por lá e atuaria como uma espécie de prevenção especial negativa, na qual o encarcerado, por receio de voltar novamente à instituição, não mais voltasse a delinquir.

Assim, apesar de possuir projetos de larga escala para reformas políticas, Jeremy Bentham considerava que o direito penal era um ramo crucial do direito, devido a sua particularidade na abordagem da psicologia humana. Para ele, a partir do pensamento utilitarista, o direito penal seria o instrumento perfeito para que o governo conseguisse conduzir as condutas de seus cidadãos. Isso porque, por meio de penas bem calculadas, o indivíduo poderia buscar a otimização de sua felicidade e chegaria à conclusão de que desrespeitar as regras do Estado não seria uma conduta vantajosa. Wikipedia

Obras

„Não importa se os animais são incapazes ou não de pensar. O que importa é que são capazes de sofrer.“

—  Jeremy Bentham, livro An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but Can they suffer?
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation‎ - Vol II Página 236 http://books.google.com/books?id=pEgJAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA236, de Jeremy Bentham - Publicado por W. Pickering, 1823 - 560 páginas.

„Todo ato de bondade é demonstração de poder.“

—  Jeremy Bentham

Variante: Todo o acto de bondade é demonstração de poder.

„Toda a punição é maldade; toda a punição em si é má.“

—  Jeremy Bentham

But all punishment is mischief: all punishment in itself is evil.
"Principles of Morals and Legislation" in: "The Works of Jeremy Bentham, Now First Collected: Under the Superintendence of His Executor, John Bowring"‎ Part I - Chapter XV Página 83 http://books.google.com/books?id=DHhYAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA83, de Jeremy Bentham - Publicado por W. Tait, 1838.

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„A natureza colocou a humanidade sob a governança de dois mestres soberanos: a dor e o prazer. Pertence apenas a eles a indicação do que devemos ou podemos fazer. Por um lado, o padrão de certo e errado, por outro, o encadeamento de causas e efeitos, estão atados ao seu trono. Eles nos governam em tudo o que fazemos, o que dizemos, o que pensamos: qualquer esforço que possamos fazer para eliminar nossa submissão servirá apenas para demonstrá-la e confirmá-la. Em palavras um homem pode fingir renunciar ao seu império: mas na realidade sempre se manterá sujeito a ele. O princípio da utilidade reconhece essa submissão e a assume para a fundação desse sistema, cujo objeto é erguer o edifício da felicidade pelas mãos da razão e da lei. Sistemas que tentam questioná-lo lidam com sons em vez de sentidos, com caprichos em vez de razão, com escuridão em vez de luz.“

—  Jeremy Bentham

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain. subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light.
An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, (1789) Chapter I. https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/An_Introduction_to_the_Principles_of_Morals_and_Legislation/Chapter_I

„Judges of elegance and taste consider themselves as benefactors to the human race, whilst they are really only the interrupters of their pleasure“

—  Jeremy Bentham

Théorie des peines et des récompenses (1811); translation by Richard Smith, The Rationale of Reward, J. & H. L. Hunt, London, 1825, Bk. 3, Ch. 1
Contexto: Judges of elegance and taste consider themselves as benefactors to the human race, whilst they are really only the interrupters of their pleasure … There is no taste which deserves the epithet good, unless it be the taste for such employments which, to the pleasure actually produced by them, conjoin some contingent or future utility: there is no taste which deserves to be characterized as bad, unless it be a taste for some occupation which has mischievous tendency.

„That which has no existence cannot be destroyed — that which cannot be destroyed cannot require anything to preserve it from destruction. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense — nonsense upon stilts.“

—  Jeremy Bentham

A Critical Examination of the Declaration of Rights
Anarchical Fallacies (1843)
Contexto: That which has no existence cannot be destroyed — that which cannot be destroyed cannot require anything to preserve it from destruction. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense — nonsense upon stilts. But this rhetorical nonsense ends in the old strain of mischievous nonsense for immediately a list of these pretended natural rights is given, and those are so expressed as to present to view legal rights. And of these rights, whatever they are, there is not, it seems, any one of which any government can, upon any occasion whatever, abrogate the smallest particle.

„Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do.“

—  Jeremy Bentham, livro An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Fonte: An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789; 1823), Ch. 1 : Of the Principle of Utility
Contexto: Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light.

„He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them.“

—  Jeremy Bentham

Principles of Legislation (1830), Ch. X : Analysis of Political Good and Evil; How they are spread in society
Contexto: It is with government, as with medicine. They have both but a choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils: In making this choice, what ought to be the object of the legislator? He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them.
There are then two things to be regarded; the evil of the offence and the evil of the law; the evil of the malady and the evil of the remedy.
An evil comes rarely alone. A lot of evil cannot well fall upon an individual without spreading itself about him, as about a common centre. In the course of its progress we see it take different shapes: we see evil of one kind issue from evil of another kind; evil proceed from good and good from evil. All these changes, it is important to know and to distinguish; in this, in fact, consists the essence of legislation.

„The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny.“

—  Jeremy Bentham, livro An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Fonte: An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789; 1823), Ch. 17 : Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence
Contexto: The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer?

„Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils“

—  Jeremy Bentham

Principles of Legislation (1830), Ch. X : Analysis of Political Good and Evil; How they are spread in society
Contexto: It is with government, as with medicine. They have both but a choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty: And I repeat that government has but a choice of evils: In making this choice, what ought to be the object of the legislator? He ought to assure himself of two things; 1st, that in every case, the incidents which he tries to prevent are really evils; and 2ndly, that if evils, they are greater than those which he employs to prevent them.
There are then two things to be regarded; the evil of the offence and the evil of the law; the evil of the malady and the evil of the remedy.
An evil comes rarely alone. A lot of evil cannot well fall upon an individual without spreading itself about him, as about a common centre. In the course of its progress we see it take different shapes: we see evil of one kind issue from evil of another kind; evil proceed from good and good from evil. All these changes, it is important to know and to distinguish; in this, in fact, consists the essence of legislation.

„The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer?“

—  Jeremy Bentham, livro An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Fonte: An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789; 1823), Ch. 17 : Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence
Fonte: The Principles of Morals and Legislation
Contexto: The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognized that the number of legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not Can they reason?, nor Can they talk?, but Can they suffer?

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