Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bentham on Rights

Bentham - yes, that Jeremy Bentham, him of Wired fame for his Panopticon idea - did indeed, I have just learned, have other ideas. Other, amazing, ideas. Thanks, Nick Kristof!

One of the few exceptions was Jeremy Bentham, the philosopher who 200 years ago also advocated for women’s rights, gay rights and prison reform. He responded to Kant’s lack of interest in animals by saying: “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”
Clearly, that is great.