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Subject:  Re: Week 3 Reading: Bentham: Critique of Natural Date:  8/20/2012  8:46 AM
Author:  tabs101 Number:  23710 of 23810

Since John Locke spent so much time talking about the law of nature, which is based on reason, and the corresponding natural law and rights, I thought this week we would take a look at a text that is critical of natural rights: Critique of the Doctrine of Inalienable, Natural Rights by Jeremy Bentham (from From Jeremy Bentham, Anarchical Fallacies, vol. 2 of Bowring (ed.), Works, 1843.).

Bentham begins by referring to the Declaration of Rights published by the French assembly in 1791 (not sure if this is the Declaration of the Rights of Man that was written in 1789). He says that the topic of that text is both "unbound" and important.

(My comments on Bentham’s text end here. That was fast! I’d like to reflect on Locke’s idea of natural law before proceeding.)

Many (some?) are willing to concede that the idea of a state of nature, whether real or hypothetical, is a logical place to begin a discussion about the origins of government or civil society. Government is created by man; therefore, it did not always exist. So discussing what life was like before man created government is logical,