In the years 1829 and 1830 there appeared in Geneva a short-lived journal called l'Utilitaire, edited by Antoine-Élysée Cherbuliez. In the preface to the first issue, the editor wrote that he was working ‘in the spirit of Bentham’, but did not wish to found a party tied to Bentham's name. He wished to emulate Bentham's thinking in so far as it was synonymous with a detached, neutral perspective on the world, a viewpoint superior to the strife of factions. Having spoken (...) eulogisti-cally of Bentham in these terms, the writer added that a well-merited share of the Englishman's glory belonged to Dumont. The names of Jeremy Bentham and Étienne Dumont ‘must no more be separated than those of Kepler and Newton’. After giving some consideration to the question of why Dumont's work was so important for Bentham, I shall concentrate in this article on why the Genevan became so committed to the task of disseminating the utilitarian thought of his English mentor. I will be focusing on the initial stages of Dumont's editorial and translation work in the 1790s and will not be attempting here to give a comprehensive history of a relationship that lasted nearly forty years. (shrink)
Long known solely as fascism’s precursor, Joseph de Maistre re-emerges in this volume as a versatile thinker with a colossally diverse posterity whose continuing relevance in Europe is ensured by his theorization of the encounter between tradition and modernity.