BENTHAM'S PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
IT was to the reform of the science of law that Bentham devoted his life. In his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation he based a theory of punishment and a classification of crimes on the mental and moral pathology which has been outlined in the preceding pages. But already, before the publication of the Introduction, he had worked out a complete theory of law, which was not published until many years later, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, when it became known to the public through the Traités de Législation Civile et Pénale and the Théorie des Peines et des Récompenses.
At the time when Bentham was first beginning to. think and to write, an attempt had just been made to systematise English law1 Blackstone, the famous author of the Commentaries on the Laws of England, had been Bentham's tutor at Oxford in the years 1763 and 1764. Bentham, however, boasted that even then he was not taken in by Blackstone's formulae2 Even though both took up a systematic point of view, they did not both adopt the same method in forming their juridical theory3 Blackstone adopted the method of exposition, and taught law as it was; Bentham the method of censure, teaching law' as it should be'4 Blackstone's is perhaps the best method that has so far been discovered of arranging juridical matter, but it is none the less a 'technical' method; that is to say, it is founded on a knowledge of the traditional rules of the legal profession,5 as opposed to the 'natural' method which is founded on a knowledge of the general laws of human nature. The science of law as set forth by Blackstone is not a science of reasoning but a science of learning, or,____________________