- Entries A-Z
An advocate of utilitarianism, the philosophy that society should act so as to produce the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Bentham (1748–1832) is often regarded as Cesare Beccaria's British counterpart and also a member of the classical school of criminology. He formulated the algorithm for “felicific calculus,” which could calculate a crime's punishment so as to be just enough to act as a deterrent and not as excessive vengeance. He is also the [Page 47]inventor of the panopticon, a circular prison design with an officer tower in the center so that all cells could be viewed at any time.