Chapter

The Intellectual Background, 1770–1870–11

P. S. Atiyah

in The Rise and Fall of Freedom of Contract

Published in print November 1985 | ISBN: 9780198255277
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681578 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198255277.003.0012
The Intellectual Background, 1770–1870–11

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This chapter examines Jeremy Bentham's economic thoughts and the implications of these for the concept of freedom of contract in England during the period from 1770 to 1870. It suggests that Benthamite utilitarianism was closely related to the ideas of classical political economy. Throughout this period, the utilitarians and the classical economists were complementary and mutually reinforcing elements in the liberal individualistic stream of thought and action. Despite their differences, they both believed in individualism as a value and as a social mechanism.

Keywords: Jeremy Bentham; freedom of contract; utilitarianism; political economy; individualism; England

Chapter.  17674 words. 

Subjects: Civil Law

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