JEREMY BENTHAM was born on February 15, 1748, in London, to a wealthy family. His was the life of a child genius who began reading Latin at the age of three and enrolled at Oxford University at the age of twelve, receiving his undergraduate degree at the age of sixteen. After that, he went to Lincoln's Inn, Westminster, to study law. Bentham was able to pursue a life of study and writing thanks to inheritances from his parents. He devoted himself to the critical investigation and reform of moral, political, religious, legal, educational, and economic institutions in England when in his mid-forties.
Bentham's fascination with the underlying ideals of the law led him to philosophy and science in an attempt to construct standards that could base the social order, despite the fact that he believed the legal system to be hypocritical and corrupt. His reforming tendencies were a key component in the formation of utilitarianism, his now-famous ethical framework in which human conduct was judged by the amount of pleasure and misery it created. A Fragment on Government (1776), An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Laws (1781), The Logic of Judicial Evidence (edited by John Stuart Mill in 1825), and two volumes on Constitutional Code (ca. 1825) are among Bentham's published works. Bentham died on June 16, 1832, in London.