Plans, Visions, and Utopia

Janet Semple

in Bentham's Prison

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780198273875
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191684074 | DOI:
Plans, Visions, and Utopia

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This chapter discusses Jeremy Bentham's plans and visions for his panopticon prison project. Scattered notes among his papers reveal the detail and substance of his prison plans and afford new insights into the nature of his ideal society. The notes dating to 1794 were more bizarre and grandiose than the later notes inspired by the Finance Committee report and the possibility of a temporary panopticon in 1798. The chapter suggests that Bentham's private vision of the development of the panopticon indicates that the utopian elements have their roots firmly in his original scheme and are thus an essential part of his thought.

Keywords: panopticon; Jeremy Bentham; prison; vision; utopia; ideal society

Chapter.  10676 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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