Secular Utilitarianism: Social Science and the Critique of Religion in the Thought of Jeremy Bentham

Synopsis

Jeremy Bentham was an ardent secularist convinced that society could be sustained without the support of religious institutions or beliefs. This book illustrates the nature, extent, and depth of Bentham's concern with religion, from his Oxford days of first doubts through the middle years of quiet unbelief to the zealous atheism and secularism of his later life. Crimmins provides an interpretation of Bentham's thought in which his religious views are shown to be integral: on the one hand, intimately associated with the metaphysical, epistemological, and psychological principles which gave shape to his system as a whole, and, on the other, central to the development of his entirely secular view of society.