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Jeremy Bentham, British philosopher

Jeremy Bentham, British philosopher

C028/9502

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), British philosopher, linguist, and activist reformer. He is best known as the founder of utilitarianism, or philosophical radicalism in which ultimate human happiness is the prime measure of any system of moral or ethics. Bentham requested in his will that his embalmed body be dressed and placed on display in a glass cabinet as an 'auto icon' in the clothes shown here at University College London, where it is still displayed nearly 200 years later. The rather poorly preserved head was replaced with a waxwork. His real head is kept in safe storage and is accessible to those carrying out research.

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