Box 15 contains material mostly pertaining to Bentham's writings on deontology, and political deontology.
In his Deontology (from the Greek το δέον, meaning 'what ought to be'), Bentham explored the topic of private ethics. In this work, Bentham analysed what, according to the principle of utility, constituted virtue and vice, and how they operated in the relationship between interest and duty, and gave examples of how the individual could promote their own happiness while increasing (or at least refraining from reducing) that of others. Bentham did not publish this work during his lifetime, but it exists in manuscript. A version of the text, edited and prepared by John Bowring, was published in the 1838-43 edition of Bentham's works, but this is essentially a paraphrasing of Bentham's text, with additions by Bowring. Folios 323 to 592 from this box of material are in Bowring's hand, and are from his version of the text.
The remainder of this box of material relates to 'political deontology', which is distinct from the 'private deontology' discussed above. Bentham wrote manuscripts on political deontology largely in 1816 and 1817, but also in later years up until his death. This work appears to have been unfinished, and has not been published.
- PLEASE NOTE: Much of Box 15 has been transcribed and published in Deontology together with A Table of the Springs of Action and Article on Utilitarianism, ed. A. Goldworth, Oxford, 1983.
The material is arranged as follows:
- Folios 1 to 2: Protest against Land Taxes, with letter to Mr. [Spencer] Perceval [fragment, 1807]
- Folios 3 to 4: Political deontology - constitution regarding 
- Folios 5 to 8: Elements of political deontology by way of questions and answers 
- Folios 9 to 10: Political deontology applied
- Folios 11 to 15: Motives by which men are led to a system of political deontology 
- Folios 16 to 44: Political deontology - expository, exegetical 
- Folio 45: Political deontology - Part II: Of the British Constitution 
- Folios 46 to 67: Political deontology - Principle of utility 
- Folios 68 to 80: Political deontology - outline 
- Folios 81 to 83: Political deontology - democracy and war 
- Folios 84 to 100: Political deontology - beneficence and benevolence [1819, 1821, 1824]
- Folios 101 to 108: Political deontology - generalia, practical part [fragments, 1817-31]
- Folios 109 to 121: Political deontology - negative benevolence [fragments, 1824-31]
- Folios 122 to 125: Political deontology - extra-regarding and self-regarding prudence [fragments, 1819, 1821]
- Folios 126 to 130: Political deontology - matter disposed of (Bowring) [1829-34]
- Folios 131 to 322: Deontology, Vol. I, matter disposed of (Bowring) 
- Folios 323 to 592: Deontology, Bowring MSS 
In Progress: 17
Ready For Review: 345