This volume makes available one of the central texts in the development of utilitarian tradition, in the authoritative 1977 edition prepared by Professors Burns and Hart as part of Bentham's Collected Works. Certain that history was on his side, Bentham sought to rid the world of the hideous mess wrought by legal obfuscation and confusion, and to transform politics into a rational, scientific activity, premised on the fundamental axiom that "it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong."
Principal events in Bentham's life; Bibliographical note; Note on the text; Preface; Introduction; 1. Formation of government; 2. Forms of government; 3. British constitution; 4. Right of the Supreme Power to make laws; 5. Duty of the Supreme Power to make laws; Appendix; Index.