3rd Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy – Abstract/Amatrudo

Anthony Amatrudo

The Classical Theorists of the Utilitarian Account of Punishment

This paper sets out the classical form of the utilitarian account of punishment. To this end Bentham and Paley’s work is set out carefully to ascertain the origins of the utilitarian account of punishment. The argument presented in the paper will show how Bentham moves well beyond Paley. The paper tackles textual issues of difference in the varying accounts offered by Bentham and Paley. Paley will be shown as narrowly focusing on crime prevention whereas Bentham will be shown as having broader consideration of social utility in mind. Moreover, Bentham will be shown to be far more concerned with the welfare of non-criminals than of criminals. The paper will show how Bentham’s account is far more concerned with considerations bearing on political theory than Paley.