Philip Schofield

Philip Schofield

BA, LLM, PhD

Professor of the History of Legal and Political Thought

+44 (0)20 3108 8395

p.schofield@ucl.ac.uk

Philip Schofield is Professor of the History of Legal and Political Thought, Director of the Bentham Project and General Editor of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham.

He is Secretary of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, which organises major international conferences. The ninth ISUS Conference was the hugely successful John Stuart Mill Bicentennial Conference held at UCL in April 2006, which was co-organised by Professor Schofield with Dr Georgios Varouxakis (QMUL). The tenth Conference, organised by Professor David Lieberman, was held at Berkeley in September 2008. Forthcoming conferences will be held at Lucca (June 2011) and New York (2012). For more details see the Bentham Project website.

Professor Schofield is Chair of the Bentham Seminar, where scholars present new research into all aspects of Bentham studies. For a list of forthcoming seminars see the Bentham Project website.

Research

Professor Schofield’s major study of Bentham’s political thought, Utility and Democracy: the political thought of Jeremy Bentham, was published by Oxford University Press in 2006. The book draws on an extensive range of unpublished manuscripts and original printed texts, and on the new, authoritative edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham.  A further distinctive feature lies in its thorough investigation of the intimate relationship between Bentham’s political thought on the one hand, and his legal and religious thought on the other. The book begins with a lucid account of Bentham’s theory of logic and language, which is shown to underpin his utilitarianism, and provide the rationale for his attack on the related doctrines of natural law and natural rights. It then investigates the factors which led Bentham to produce the first major utilitarian defence of democracy.

In contrast to previous scholarship, which claims that Bentham’s ‘conversion’ or ‘transition’ to political radicalism took place either at the time of the French Revolution or subsequent to his meeting with James Mill in 1808 or 1809, this book argues that the process was longer and more complex, beginning around 1804 when the notion of sinister interest emerged in Bentham’s thought. Bentham came to appreciate that rulers, rather than being motivated by a desire to promote the greatest happiness of the community as a whole, wished to promote their own selfish or sinister interest. The solution lay in the establishment of representative democracy, where publicity could make the actions of officials transparent, and thus render rulers genuinely accountable to the people.

The book was awarded the prestigious WJM Mackenzie Book Prize for 2006 by the Political Studies Association. It was published in a paperback version in May 2009.

Professor Schofield has published an introduction to Bentham’s life and thought. His Bentham: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2009) highlights Bentham’s relevance to contemporary debates in philosophy, politics, and law. Key concepts and themes, such as Bentham’s theory of logic and language, his utilitarianism, his legal theory, his panopticon prison, and his democratic politics, together with his views on religion, sex, and torture, are lucidly explored.

Professor Schofield has edited or co-edited seven volumes in the new Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, and has made major contributions to several more in his role as General Editor. His new edition of Bentham’s Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence , has superseded H.L.A. Hart’s edition of Of Laws in General, as a volume in the new edition of Laws in General. He is supervising work on new, authoritative editions of Bentham’s works on, evidence and judicial procedure, religion, and political and legal writings for Spain and Portugal.

He has published numerous studies related to his work on Bentham, for instance in the Journal of Legal History, Utilitas economics, logic and language, political fallacies, sexual morality, and History of Political Thought, and History of European Ideas.

View Philip’s research profile on the UCL IRIS website

Publications

Books 

Schofield, P. (1998), ‘Legislator of the World’: Writings on Codification, Law, and Education, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Bentham, J. (2008), A Comment on the Commentaries and A Fragment on Government, The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Schofield, P. (2009), Bentham: A Guide for the Perplexed, London and New York: Continuum.

Bentham, J. (n.d.), Church-of-Englandism and its Catechism Examined, The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Schofield, T. P. (2012), Jeremy Bentham: Prophet of Secularism, London, UK: South Place Ethical Society.

Bentham, J. (n.d.), Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence, The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Pease-Watkin, C., & Schofield, P. (2012), On the Liberty of the Press, and Public Discussion, and other Legal and Political Writings for Spain and Portugal, OUP Oxford.

Bentham, J. (n.d.), Political Fallacies, The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Rosen, F., & Schofield, P. (2002), Rights, Representation, and Reform: `Nonsense Upon Stilts’ and Other Writings for the French Revolution, The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

O’Sullivan, L., & Fuller, C. (2006), The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: Vol. 12. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Schofield, T. P. (2006), Utility and Democracy: The Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bentham, J. (n.d.), Writings on Logic and LanguageThe Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Bentham, J. (n.d.), Writings on Spanish and Portuguese Politics, The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Bentham, J. (n.d.), Writings on the Poor Laws: Volume II, The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Book Chapters

Schofield, P. (2000), ‘La Arquitectura del Gobierno: Publicidad, Responsabilidad y Democracia Representative en Jeremy Bentham’Opini¢n P£blica y Democracia: Anales de C tedra Francisco Su rez (pp. 145-169).

Schofield, P. (n.d.), ‘Bentham er la reaction britannique a la Revolution francaise’, In E. de Champs (Ed.), Bentham et la France (pp. 67-82). Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.

Schofield, P. (n.d.), ‘Jeremy Bentham‘, in S. Jordan, B. Mojsisch (Eds.), Philosophenlexikon (pp. 47-48). Stuttgart: Reclam.

Schofield, P. (2008), ‘Jeremy Bentham’, in W. A. Darity (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (pp. i.285-i.286). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

Schofield, P. (2006), ‘Jeremy Bentham, in D. Borchert (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

Schofield, P. (2007), ‘Jeremy Bentham‘, in D. S. Clark (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Law and Society: American and Global Perspectives. London: Sage.

Schofield, P. (2008), ‘Jeremy Bentham‘, in S. N. Durlauf, L. E. Blume (Eds.), The New Palgrave Dictionary of Ecnomics. Palgrave Macmillan.

Schofield, P. (1998), ‘Jeremy Bentham, Legislator of the World: Writings on Codification, Law and Education‘, in P. Schofield, J. W. Harris (Eds.), Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham (pp. lviii+450-?). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Schofield, T. P. (2004), ‘Jeremy Bentham, the Principle of Utility, and Legal Positivism‘, in M. D. A. Freeman (Ed.), Current Legal Problems 2003 Volume 56 (pp. 1-39). Oxford University Press.

Schofield, P. (2002), ‘Jeremy Bentham: Historical Importance and Contemporary Relevance‘, in Jerem¡as Bentham: el joven y el viejo radical, su presencia en el Rosario (pp. 51-77). Bogota: University of Rosario.

Schofield, P. (1998), ‘Jeremy Bentham: Legal Philosopher and Political Reformer‘, in C. Fuller (Ed.), The Old Radical: Representations of Jeremy Bentham (pp. 1-4). London: University College London.

Schofield, P. (1998), ‘Jeremy Bentham: Legislator of the World‘, in M. D. Freeman (Ed.), Legal Theory at the end of the Millennium (pp. 115-147). Oxford: OUP.

Schofield, P. (1999), ‘Jeremy Bentham: Legislator of the World‘, in D. A. Freeman (Ed.), Current Legal Problems 1998: Legal Theory at the End of the Millenium (pp. 115-147). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schofield, P. (2013), ‘Lord of the (Bentham) Rings‘, in Conversation Pieces: Inspirational objects in UCL’s historic collections (pp. 18-19). Oxford, UK: Shire Publications Ltd.

Schofield, P. (2007), ‘Utilitarianism‘, in D. Brack, E. Randall (Eds.), Dictionary of Liberal Thought. London: Politicos.

Recent Articles

Schofield, P. (2000), ‘Bentham on Colonies, Commerce and Constitutional Law‘, Seijo University Economic Papers, 148, 171-196.

Schofield, P. (2000), ‘Bentham on Colonies, Commerce, and Constitutional Law‘, Seijo University Economic Papers, 148, 171-196.

Schofield, P. (1997), ‘Bentham, God and the Auto-Icon‘, Ethical Record, 102 (5), 3-8.

Schofield, P. (2014), ‘James E. Crimmins, ed., The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism, New York, London, New Delhi, Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2013, pp. xx + 585‘, Journal of Bentham Studies, 16, 1-4.

Schofield, T. P. (2010), ‘Jeremy Bentham and H.L.A. Hart’s ‘Utilitarian tradition in jurisprudence’Jurisprudence, 1 (2), 147-167.

SCHOFIELD, T. (2011), ‘Jeremy Bentham and the British Intellectual Response to the French Revolution‘, Journal of Bentham Studies, 13, 1-27.

Schofield, P. (2003), ‘Jeremy Bentham’s ‘Nonsense Upon Stilts’Utilitas, 15 (1), 1-26.

Schofield, T. P. (2004), ‘Jeremy Bentham, the French Revolution and political radicalism‘, History of European Ideas, 30 (4), 381-401. doi:10.1016/j.histeuroideas.2003.11.019

Schofield, P. (2000), ‘La Arquitectura del Gobierno: Publicidad, Responsabilidad y Democracia Representativa en Jeremy Bentham‘, Opinion Publica y Democracia: Anales de Catedra Francisco Suarez, 34, 145-169.

Schofield, P. (1998), ‘Legal Positivism and the Rejection of Contractarianism in early Utilitarian Thought‘, Studen Zur Praktischen Philosophie, 21, 49-80.

Schofield, P. (1999), ‘Political and Religious Radicalism in the Thought of Jeremy Bentham’History of Political Thought, XX (2), 272-291.

Schofield, P. (1998), ‘Utilitarian Politics and Legal Positivism: the Rejection of Contractarianism in early Utilitarian Thought‘, Studien zur Praktischen Philosophie, xxi, 49-80.

Schofield, P. (n.d.), ‘Werner Stark and Jeremy Bentham’s Economic Writings’History of European Ideas.

Current Teaching

Postgraduate

Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition