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Jeremy Bentham et les droits de l'homme : un réexamen

Abstract : Due to its harsh basic principle and severe criticism against the Declarations of Human Rights, Bentham's utilitarianism is traditionally reduced to a pure mechanism that neglects the inherent rights of human beings. Firstly, Bentham's positivism precludes any admission of pre-social absolute "rights", which would naturally be secured for individuals. He then adresses the rhetorical import of arguments invoking them. The principle of utility, in its descriptive and prescriptive dimensions, does nevertheless allow for a minute consideration of individuals' claims in society, namely with regards to the creation of law. Furthermore, the calculus of social utility's authenticity implies the instauration of a representative democracy. By way of the Public Opinion Tribunal's constant panoptic supervision, this guarantees that the government's continuous objective is towards achieving the greatest happiness. It is therefore possible to call into question the contended antinomy between Bentham and the prerogatives of the individuals
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Guillaume Tusseau. Jeremy Bentham et les droits de l'homme : un réexamen. Revue trimestrielle des droits de l'homme, Editions Nemesis, 2002, 13, pp.407-431. ⟨hal-01017737⟩

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