Gathering together an impressive array of legal scholars from around the world, this book features essays on Jeremy Bentham’s major legal theoretical treatise, Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence, reassessing Bentham’s theories of law as well as his impact on jurisprudence. While offering a suggestive picture of contemporary Bentham studies, the book provides a thorough examination of concepts such as legal discourse, legal norms, legal system, and subjective legal positions. The book compares Bentham’s approach with other landmark theories and the works of major legal philosophers including Austin, Hart and Kelsen, and explores Bentham’s treatise through major trends in contemporary legal thought, such as the imperative theory of law, deontic logic, Scandinavian and American legal realisms, the pure theory of law, and critical legal thought. Resisting any apologetic stance, the book elucidates how consistent with Bentham’s all-encompassing project of utilitarian reform ‘Limits’ turns out to be, and how this sheds light on contemporary modes of governance.
The book will be great use and interest to scholars and students of contemporary jurisprudence, legal theory, 19th century philosophy, and public law.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Guillaume Tusseau Part 1: A Manuscript’s Odyssey 1. Constructing the Text: Jeremy Bentham’s Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence, Philip Schofield Part 2: The Foundation of General Legal Theory (I): International looks at Limits 2. The Theory of the Legal Norm: Typology of Legal Beings, Rafael Hernández Marín 3. The Theory of the Legal order, Pierluigi Chiassoni 4. Bentham’s Deontic Logic, José Juan Moreso 5. An Old English Tale? Bentham’s Theory of The Force of a Law, Guillaume Tusseau 6. Of the Limits of the Civil Branch of Jurisprudence: Background, definitions and limits of Bentham’s discussion on civil law in Limits, Anne Brunon-Ernst Part 3: The Foundation of General legal Theory(II): External looks at Limits 7. Bentham’s Limits and Austin, Michael Lobban 8. Bentham’s Command versus Hart’s Authoritative Reason. An Examination of the Principal Interpretations of Bentham’s Imperative Theory of Law in Hart’s ‘Commands and Authoritative Legal Reasons’, Xiaobo Zhai 9. Bentham’s Limits and Hohfeld, Andrew Halpin 10. A Commitment to Naturalism, Bentham and the Legal Realists, Francesca Poggi and Francesco Ferraro 11. Bentham and Kelsen, Michel van de Kerchove 12. Bentham’s "Limits", Deontic Logic, and the Formal Representation of a Normative System, Lars Lindahl Part 4: Limits and the Architecture of Bentham’s Project 13. Of the Limits and the Theory of Legislation, David Lieberman, James W. and Isabel Coffroth 14. Limits and Indirect Legislation, Stephen Engelmann 15. Towards the Pannomion: Limits and Bentham's French Manuscripts, Emmanuelle de Champs 16. Reducing Limits of the Realm of Possibilities: Law, Action and Will in Jeremy Bentham’s Thought, Malik Bozzo-Rey 17. The Notion of Limit in Bentham's Theory of Fictions, Jean-Pierre Cléro 18. The Legislator’s Tormented Soul: Utility as Practical Reason in Bentham’s Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence, Denis Baranger
Guillaume Tusseau is Professor of Public Law at Sciences Po Law School, and a member of the Institut universitaire de France. His main fields of interest are legal theory, constitutional law and comparative law.