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Special Issue

Surveillance and Metaphor of "Tribunal" in Bentham’s Utilitarianism

Surveillance et métaphore du « tribunal » dans l’utilitarisme de Bentham
Hiroaki Itai 

Résumés

La présente étude souligne que l’idée de gouvernance de Bentham avait déjà été formulée dans les années 1780 et explique clairement que ses idées étaient cohérentes, en prenant en compte l’interprétation de Schofield concernant la radicalisation progressive de Bentham. Les premiers textes de Bentham, tels que Le Panoptique et Tactiques Politiques, comprenaient des éléments de publicité et de surveillance qui caractérisaient la théorie de la gouvernance basée sur le concept d’intérêt, et donnèrent lieu à des discussions clés qui conduisirent à l’idée de démocratie représentative dans la période qui suivit. Basées sur Fragment sur le gouvernement et sur Introduction aux principes de la morale et de la législation dans les années 1770, diverses idées, dont la théorie de la « législation indirecte » de Bentham dans les années 1780, se concrétisèrent par son idée utilitariste de gouvernement.

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Texte intégral

This was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP19K01570.

Introduction

  • 1 “Panopticon” was originally the idea of his brother Samuel Bentham. For more information on Samuel’ (...)
  • 2 Hart 1962, p. 457.

1In late 18th century England, when momentum for prison reform was on the rise, Bentham called for reform in both public prisons with poor and unsanitary conditions and private prisons that were hygienic, humanitarian, and even efficient. He wrote about this in his Panopticon (1791 in Ireland),1 advocating for prisons which would contribute to the improvement of national finances through their special architectural structures and rational management. Panopticon was featured in Discipline and Punish (1975) by Foucault and became the most frequently mentioned text in “Unread Bentham”.2

  • 3 This paper revises Itai 2015 and adds new issues.

2This paper3 is similar to Foucault’s in that the Panopticon is considered to be of primary importance in understanding the characteristics of Bentham’s utilitarian idea of governance. I interpret it from a different perspective, however—from the Foucault style (not what Foucault himself intended)—and clarify that Bentham’s utilitarian governance was also an original governing concept in the late 18th century.

  • 4 Schofield points out the changes in Bentham’s argument since around 1804, when he began to characte (...)
  • 5 Nagai has already pointed out that “Bentham’s interest in the Constitutional Code has its origins i (...)
  • 6 See “Special Issue: Indirect Legislation: Jeremy Bentham’s Regulatory Revolution Guest Editors: Mal (...)

3This paper points out that Bentham’s idea of governance was already formulated in the 1780s and makes clear that his ideas were coherent, taking Schofield’s interpretation of Bentham’s progressive radicalisation.4 The text of early Bentham such as Panopticon and Political Tactics consisted of elements of publicity and monitoring that characterised the theory of governance based on the concept of interest. It was a pivotal discussion that led to the idea of representative democracy in a later period.5 Based on Fragment on Government and Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation in the 1770s, various ideas including Bentham’s “indirect legislation”6 theory in the 1780s came to fruition as his utilitarian idea of government.

Bentham and Foucault

  • 7 A similar indication was made around the same time by Himmelfarb 1968.
  • 8 See Rosen 1983, Kelly 1990, Schofield 2006.
  • 9 There is not much anti-criticism from Bentham scholars, probably because the critique of “construct (...)

4Panopticon, which is an important text for understanding the structure of governance in Bentham’s utilitarianism, was widely known to the public in the late 20th century. While Bentham’s image in Foucault’s Discipline and Punish portrayed the “Panopticon” as encapsulating modern discipline and power, in the same way as Big Brother in Orwell’s 1984 symbolised totalitarian rule,7 Bentham scholars at the University College London (who were involved in the compilation of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham [CW]) have submitted strong rebuttals8 to these interpretations, including criticisms of the utilitarianism of Rawls’ A Theory of Justice (1971).9 There is a difference between Bentham as an authoritarian thinker who oppresses individual freedom and a liberal thinker who guarantees individual freedom.

  • 10 OLG, ch. XIX, 9.

5The interpretation, however, that divides the attributes of a thinker into two parts—freedom and oppression, and authoritarianism and individualism—and returns them to one or the other, is crude. Taking Bentham’s legislative theory as an example, he classifies legislation as direct and indirect. Direct legislation is “a formal attack made with the main body of his forces in the open field” and indirect legislation as a means of preventing a decline in social well-being is “a secret plan of connected and long-concerted operations, to be executed in the way of stratagem or petite guerre”.10 While punishments as direct legislation intervene ex post facto in people’s choices of conduct—and are crimes—indirect legislation intervenes in people’s choices of conduct in advance and aims at establishing order of the choices of conduct itself. This is a method of legislative intervention guaranteeing the autonomy of individuals; it is suggested that there may be a third interpretation different from the two interpretations of authoritarianism and individualism mentioned above.

  • 11 Crimmins 1996.
  • 12 Foucault makes a clear distinction between “panoptique” and “panoptisme” (Nakamura 1996, p.52).
  • 13 Tsuchiya points out the problem of power in the panopticon in terms of “sublime” in 18th-century ar (...)

6I will outline the status of conventional research on Panopticon. Crimmins summarised the tendency of Bentham research, which began with the publication of CW into individualistic and authoritarian interpretations, and pointed out that Foucault’s Panopticon interpretation was an important source of authoritarian interpretations.11 In Discipline and Punish, Foucault portrayed the mechanism of power in the Panopticon (panopticism)12 as a generalisable power model of the governing technique which fostered “a docile bodies” after the 17th century, and regarded it as a model of the disciplinary power in the modern world.13

  • 14 Nagai 2003, p. 113. See also Brunon-Ernst 2016, “Deconstructing Panopticism into the Plural [=Four (...)
  • 15 The fact that Foucault is indifferent to the relationship between “discipline” and capitalist labou (...)
  • 16 Komatsu 2002b. See also Komatsu 2019. Ishii pointed out that the change from solitary confinement t (...)

7There is criticism that Foucault’s interpretation is based on a misinterpretation that takes into account only the Panopticon’s architectural principles and applies them to society as a whole, overlooking another important aspect of the Panopticon’s managerial principle.14 This paper is developed with this perspective.15 Komatsu points out that the idea of solitary confinement in Letter has been transformed into mixed confinement and that what is important in the Panopticon—along with the elements of surveillance—is the principle of the union of interests and duties, which Foucault has neglected in Postscripts.16

  • 17 It is well known that Bentham was afraid of ghosts. Burke stated ‘…Bentham in his childhood had an (...)
  • 18 Semple 1993, p.314.
  • 19 Schofield 2009, p. 70.

8On the other hand, Bentham as well as Foucault share a fear of invisible power and repression,17 with Semple interpreting the Panopticon as being humanistic in the 18th-century English Criminal Code reform.18 Scofield, who has been editing CW for years, argues that Bentham’s intentions are humanitarian, and that Foucault, who does not understand the context of the English Criminal Code reform, casts strange criticism without understanding Bentham’s intentions.19

  • 20 Ben-Dor 2000, p. 243.
  • 21 There is also the problem that politics is being forgotten and questions about politics are being l (...)
  • 22 In this sense, there is a problem of two-way (Janus-faced) discipline and control (Ignatieff 1989, (...)
  • 23 Foucault 1975, p. 222.
  • 24 Hume 1981, p. 258. A rough sketch of this ambiguous aspect was previously attempted in Itai 1998.

9Ben-Dor shares the view of Bentham’s interpretation in this paper, in which he characterises Bentham’s governing agenda as a panoptic democracy20 and a political system in which panoptic principle normally promotes improvement with the public opinion tribunal becoming the observer.21 The differences between this interpretation and the one in this article are detailed in the following sections. I will rearrange the various aspects of Bentham’s governance in line with Panopticon. It is also a combination of what Foucault has pointed out and what is pointed out in criticisms of Foucault. In other words, regarding the problem of the ambivalent nature of modern individualism,22 which is the simultaneous progress of the expansion of individualistic rights and freedoms, and the enhancement of the authority of the sovereign, Foucault’s point of “the ‘Enlightenment’, which discovered the liberties, also invented the disciplines” is appropriate.23 Looking at these ambiguities,24 I would like to review Bentham’s argument.

The tribunal of the world

  • 25 Komatsu 2002a.

10In the latter half of the 18th century, there was a surge in legal and political reform, including a movement for parliamentary reform. One was prison reform, and as is well known, the momentum for such reform was triggered by the publication of Howard’s The State of the Prisons (1777). At that time, many of the reform plans recommended the use of state prisons, recognising that the problem of prisons was an evil caused by the private sector. On the other hand, as Komatsu pointed out, an important difference was that Bentham’s Panopticon offered a more thoroughly controlled private prison system. Unlike the trend towards prison reform, which shifted from the private sector to the state, Bentham presented a reform plan that called for thorough privatisation.25

  • 26 See also Brunon-Ernst 2007.
  • 27 B, iv, p. 46.
  • 28 See the illustration at the end of this paper.
  • 29 Foucault 1975, p.207.

11The important thing in considering the problem of surveillance in the Panopticon is that it is not limited to the invisible surveillance power through a transparent architecture that operates to regulate prisoners’ conduct, as is generally pointed out. In addition, it is important to establish a system in which the length of management and monitoring26 is monitored by “the great open committee of the tribunal of the world”27 (Figure at the end of this paper).28 As Foucault rightly points out, the Panopticon is “a transparent building in which the exercise of power may be supervised by society as a whole”,29 which, like the Panopticon architectural principle, is an important feature of the management plan.

  • 30 B, x, 564. Bentham recollected that he met Burke at the home of Metcalfe, but according to Mack, Be (...)
  • 31 Chwe points to the chapel of the panopticon that Foucault has ignored, suggesting that the panoptic (...)

12As Burke described the inspector in the Panopticon as “the spider in his web”,30 the target is placed under physical and psychological control of the observer.31 In the past, Bentham’s Panopticon was often understood by simply applying this structure of observers to national governance. The interpretation is that the ruler is the observer and the governed is the subject to be monitored. In fact, however, this is based on a misunderstanding of Panopticon.

  • 32 B, iv, p. 48.

13Bentham said that the watchdog of the Panopticon would be placed under the supervision of “the tribunal of the world”, “release the entire history of the prison and even print it out”,32 and would be subject to forfeiture or punishment if he violated his duty to disclose the information. The most important point in the Panopticon is a transparent prison, in which an entity with the power to monitor prisoners and servants can be monitored by itself through a transparent architecture or through disclosure of information, thereby enabling appropriate management and administration.

  • 33 SAM, p. 28. See also Brunon-Ernst 2012, pp. 72-85.

14In this respect, the idea of “the great open committee of the tribunal of the world” should be reconsidered. This is because it anticipates the governing concept in the Constitutional Code of late Bentham, along with the original image of governance by the “Public Opinion Tribunal”,33 which monitors the whole monitoring system of government organisations.

  • 34 The concept of “tribunal of the world” in Panopticon was not as sophisticated as the concept of pub (...)
  • 35 PT, p. 144. It seems that Bentham started writing Political Tactics around 1788 (PT, p. xvi). ‘The (...)

15Bentham’s first conception of the discipline of power based on the concept of “public opinion tribunal” given a judicial role of “the language of fiction” was “the tribunal of the world” in Panopticon.34 Though “the Tribunal of Public Opinion” first appeared in Political Tactics (1791).35 Panopticon was first published in 1791, in which the idea of a “tribunal” first appeared.

  • 36 See Smith A Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part 3, Chapter 2.
  • 37 What was important for Bentham was the question: “whether in point of right it can properly be just (...)
  • 38 L. J. Hume mentions that Necker attaches importance to public opinion and expresses it in the rheto (...)
  • 39 Habermas 1990, p. 95, Parliamentary 1817, p. 974.

16The idea of the tribunal of the world is particularly important because it is expected to have an effective function, even if the concept is fictitious. Smith in Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) examined the question of moral conduct using the concept of a tribunal. Bentham, however, did not mention TMS. One of the reasons for this is that in TMS, there is a reference to the two tribunals of “consciences”, and “the all-seeing Judge of the world”36 whereas Bentham does not consider internal issues such as conscience, which should be dealt with by governance, but only practically which regulates individuals from outside.37 Even in France, where the concept of “tribunal of public opinion” was commonly used, it was merely rhetoric.38 In Bentham, the tribunal of the world and its development, Public Opinion Tribunal, are not limited to the common view in contemporary Britain that politicians such as J. Fox39 should follow public opinion, but it is important that they are effective entities to monitor governance mechanisms.

Panopticon and Constitutional Code

  • 40 IPML, ch. II, par. 14 n (d).
  • 41 Deontology, p. 189.

17Bentham stated, “In politics, as well as morals, a man will be at least equally glad of a pretence for deciding any question in the manner that best pleases him, without the trouble of inquiry"40 and “‘If we would love mankind’, says Helvetius, ‘you should expect little of them’”.41 Thus, man is not a man of virtue, and in that sense, his actions need to be controlled. It calls for surveillance.

  • 42 What Bentham means by economy is “maximize aptitude” and “minimizing costs” to realise “the greates (...)
  • 43 B, iv, pp. 122-3.
  • 44 B, iv, p. 125. In Panopticon, “privatisation of prisons was to create a system in which the pursuit (...)
  • 45 B, iv, p. 128.

18Economy as Applied to Office, written in 1822, is a thesis on aptitude for morality, intellect, and action in public office. As the title suggests, “economy” is a key concept for Bentham.42 If “the rule of economy” is met, both rules of strictness and generosity will be met; the rules of economy are important in Panopticon.43 As for the “Peculation and Negligence” which hampers the rules of economy, Bentham recommended “Contract-management” from the point of view of the importance “to join interest with duty”,44 and insisted that it should be single-management, not board-management.45 It is an important issue to be linked to the later Bentham in the sense that the responsibility is clarified by limiting to individuals, not to groups, and that the management is appropriately carried out even if the person who pursues self-interest is assumed.

  • 46 B, iv, p. 130.
  • 47 B, iv, pp. 127-8.
  • 48 What is interesting in this regard is that, from 1790 to 1810, the public disclosure of the account (...)
  • 49 FG, pp. 444-5, p. 483. Bentham points out that the reason for obedience and resistance to governmen (...)

19It can be understood that “Transparency of management is certainly an immense security; but even transparency is of no avail without eyes to look at it”.46 Transparency and monitoring, and economy and interests are inextricably linked here. In other words, it was “publicity”47 that achieved the rules of economy and made the aforementioned discipline based on the tribunal of the world as full. This meant not only the disclosure of reports such as income and expenditure accounts and the sanitary conditions of prisons,48 but also the disclosure of the building itself. The fact that the buildings were open to the public is related to the idea in Constitutional Code in his later years, which was to open the governing buildings—including the Diet—to the public. I would like to emphasise once again that the concepts of publicity or openness and discipline, which played an important role in Bentham’s concept of governance, appeared in Panopticon and that it was the concept of interests that connected them.49

Bentham and effective governance

  • 50 B, x, p. 226.
  • 51 B, xi, p. 103.
  • 52 Semple 1993.

20For Bentham, who valued security and positive legal rights, the Panopticon was “a mill for grinding rogues honest, and idle men industrious”50 and “in both its branches—the prisoner branch and the pauper branch”.51 Bentham himself described the Panopticon as “My Utopia”, beginning with prisons and workhouses having an educational function for children, being a shelter for women, and as an attempt to provide housework and medical care and to redress eating habits. It can be said that Bentham’s Panopticon follows a line of Utopian thought in the sense of distancing itself from the seduction and disorder of the world.52

  • 53 EW, iii, p. 259.

21It should be noted that, in Bentham’s utilitarianism, surveillance is not limited to between the governor and the governed. In some cases, the governed monitor each other while the governor monitors the governed, and vice versa, the governed monitor the governor. For example, in the Defence of a Maximum (1801), when people’s survival was threatened as a result of competition over cereals due to poor harvests, a law setting a maximum price should have been enacted—it was the mutual monitoring of people that made the compliance effective. That is to say, Bentham insists that the checking of violators of the maximum legal price is done by “all eyes” and “all tongues” and envisages mutual surveillance and prosecution of people.53

  • 54 UC cvii, 103 (1794), clvii, 58 (1798) in Semple 1993, pp. 284-5.

22Although it was only a draft, Bentham had the idea of making the city a panopticon to ensure people’s security. For example, it would provide security by limiting access to a single location, which Bentham described as “Panopticon Town” and “Panopticon Hill”.54 Panopticon is not a panopticon, but a secure village like a modern gated community that can be spread across the country, and people can be assured of their security by being included in the way they govern.

  • 55 See Takashima 2007, 2019 for a discussion of Bentham’s linguistic philosophy, including “paraphrasi (...)

23Bentham’s vision of society and institutions through such effective governance is also a departure from the 18th century Enlightenment project. Perhaps, in Bentham’s eyes, the statements of his contemporaries, no matter how serious they may be, which loudly insisted upon the happiness of people and the consideration of public opinion, were no more than mere rhetoric, and depended only upon the subjective convictions of the claimant. They did not rely on “paraphrasis”, invented by Bentham to clarify legal terminology.55

  • 56 See also Bozzo-Rey 2011.
  • 57 As to whether Bentham was an individualistic that differences among different peoples should be con (...)

24Bentham envisioned an effective monitoring system that relied on the combination of self-interest, duty, and happiness, which he defined as a realistic existence because he wanted to ensure that the order of the utilitarian principle of increasing the happiness of society was realised on the premise of institutional conditions of openness and transparency.56 In this sense, it can be said that Panopticon and other texts were written in 18th century, but that they possessed positivistic theoretical traits dating from 19th century.57

Conclusion: Régime of publicity

25As I have discussed, the recognition that Panopticon has set forth an important role for Bentham’s utilitarian governance is not new among Bentham scholars. However, the emphasis here is on the idea of “the great open committee of the tribunal of the world” mentioned in Panopticon. Let us consider the significance that this idea has made the most important theoretical contribution to Bentham’s vision of governance.

  • 58 FG, ch. IV, 24.
  • 59 FG, p. 41.
  • 60 COR, ii, p. 157.
  • 61 Schmidt 1923.

26In Fragment on Government, which Bentham originally published anonymously in 1776, he mentioned the conditions for “free state” as “the responsibility of the governors” and “the liberty of the press”.58 In governance, meaningful and rational discussions based on the facts and clarification of issues were important.59 The words, “the rationale of the Laws of debate in public assemblies, deduced from the principle of utility”60 were also used in August 1778. Bentham, mainly with politicians in mind, believed that rational discussion would reveal what increased the happiness of society. This is a characteristic of Bentham’s early conception of government and symbolises his enlightenment optimism, “Parliamentary Democracy”.61 Let us use this as an enlightenment element in Bentham’s work.

  • 62 Claude Ledoux, who is famous for “salines royales d'Arc-et-Senans”, conceived of a circular (not on (...)
  • 63 Bender pointed out the fictitious nature of characters as a common feature of novels and prison ref (...)

27Bentham’s concept of governance, based on enlightened optimism, was not unique among his contemporaries. After writing legal writings such as Fragment on Government, Introduction to the principles of morals and legislation, Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence, and “indirect legislation”, however, Bentham’s thoughts began to unfold. This is the concept of governance expressed in Panopticon. In addition to the automation of the power of self-discipline to internalise the monitoring in prisons with complete openness and transparency, an important idea was the external monitoring of the Panopticon itself by “the great open committee of the tribunal of the world”. This should be taken as an element of the surveillance in Bentham. Although the individual issues concerning the Panopticon—such as the circular architecture and the design concept itself—were common in contemporary France,62 the argument that surveillance determines the propensity of people does not seem to have much originality in view of English discourse on character constructability in the 18th century.63

  • 64 PT, p. 31. See also RRR, pp. 408-9.
  • 65 PT, pp. 39-40.

28In Bentham, the elements of enlightenment and surveillance came to be conceived in a unique combination. This is the text of Political Tactics (1791) in which the thread joining the early and late Bentham is unambiguously connected. In this text, in order to carry out rational discussion, there is an initial element of enlightenment securing the system to promote the state that “A habit of reasoning and discussion will penetrate all classes of society”64 by using a “the table of motions” which is “nine feet high by six wide”, and placed in the assembly hall so that the discussion can be carried out efficiently. There are also second elements of surveillance: a circular assembly hall modelled after Panopticon, the disclosure of minutes (said the stenographer’s employment), and publication by the newspaper (informal meeting).65

  • 66 PT, p. 144. Expressions such as “the tribunal of the public” (PT, p. 38) or “the Tribunal of free c (...)

29As a node between first and second elements, it is crucial that the idea of “the Tribunal of Public Opinion”,66 which emphasised the influence of the rising public opinion at that time, appeared. At the same time, a text was published to secure the obedience of the governed by disclosing the text and the reason of the law in Of Promulgation of the Laws and Promulgation of the Reasons Thereof. Further, the ideal way of efficient and rational governance was being sought.

  • 67 PT, p. 32. Bentham did not insist that everything be public. He made a clear distinction between wh (...)

30Political Tactics is an important text because both elements of enlightenment and surveillance are connected, and the original idea of Bentham’s governing concept described not as a secret system but as a “régime of publicity”67 appears for the first time. In this sense, the widely accepted political stance of disillusionment and radicalisation of Bentham’s actual Panopticon prison construction project as a result of the failure of the project may be important as a path to the sovereignty of the people as expressed in the Constitutional Code—but not so important at the point of originality of the conception of government.

31Rather than Bentham’s radicalisation as a result of being tossed about by the rough waves of real politics—which were the various speculations of the political powers at the time—the Panopticon’s original architecture and its management in seeking governance were applied to the audience chamber, the court, and the school in Constitutional Code and Chrestomathia. The elements of such surveillance were combined with the opportunity of enlightenment seen in the Fragment on Government and were led to the original concept in the Political Tactics.

  • 68 Bentham “seeks to align the duties of the governor with the self-interest of the governor based on (...)

32The Panopticon seems to be important as an element for Bentham’s theory of governance to be transformed into something very different from the arguments of the legislative reform movements in those days, such as the Yorkshire Movement in the 1780s. The idea of Panopticon was then applied to the political arena in Political Tactics which gave Bentham’s own utilitarian image of government at the end of the 18th century in England, accompanied by a desire for felicific calculus, the revelation of an entrepreneurial spirit, and paranoid functionalism.68

Bentham’s Panopticon Prison

This figure shows the direction of surveillance in the Panopticon prison. The inspector monitors and disciplines the prisoners and subordinates. The public monitors and regulates the prison as whole. As Bentham says, the Panopticon is a transparent prison.

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Notes

1 “Panopticon” was originally the idea of his brother Samuel Bentham. For more information on Samuel’s panopticon concept, see Steadman 2012. After publishing Panopticon in 1791, which he wrote while traveling in Russia in the mid-1780s (Christie 1993), Bentham embarked on his own construction project and even purchased the site, but the project eventually came to a halt. See Hume 1973/4 for details.

2 Hart 1962, p. 457.

3 This paper revises Itai 2015 and adds new issues.

4 Schofield points out the changes in Bentham’s argument since around 1804, when he began to characterise governors as a group with “sinister interests” that did not reflect the well-being of society (Schofield 2006, ch. v).

5 Nagai has already pointed out that “Bentham’s interest in the Constitutional Code has its origins in the Panopticon concept”(Nagai 1982, p. 281).

6 See “Special Issue: Indirect Legislation: Jeremy Bentham’s Regulatory Revolution Guest Editors: Malik Bozzo-Rey, Anne Brunon-Ernst and Michael Quinn,” History of European Ideas (Bozzo-Rey, Brunon-Ernst, and Quinn 2017). On the relation between indirect legislation and nudge, see Itai, Inoue and Kodama 2016.

7 A similar indication was made around the same time by Himmelfarb 1968.

8 See Rosen 1983, Kelly 1990, Schofield 2006.

9 There is not much anti-criticism from Bentham scholars, probably because the critique of “constructivist rationalism” (Hayek 1973) that Hayek mentioned as starting from Descartes was not directly intended to criticise utilitarianism. On the contrary, some point out the affinity between Hayek and Bentham (Dube 1991, Tachikawa 2003).

10 OLG, ch. XIX, 9.

11 Crimmins 1996.

12 Foucault makes a clear distinction between “panoptique” and “panoptisme” (Nakamura 1996, p.52).

13 Tsuchiya points out the problem of power in the panopticon in terms of “sublime” in 18th-century architectural history (Tsuchiya 1993, pp.105-13).

14 Nagai 2003, p. 113. See also Brunon-Ernst 2016, “Deconstructing Panopticism into the Plural [=Four] Panopticons.”

15 The fact that Foucault is indifferent to the relationship between “discipline” and capitalist labour organisations, that is, indifferent to dimensions other than the legal and social dimension, such as the economy and the market, has been severely criticised. (Melossi and Pavarini 1977, p.192.) There is also empirical criticism of Foucault’s interpretation. Foucault’s vision of a madhouse is that it is not the 18th century but the 19th century (Matsumura 1991, Porter 1988). There is a gap in interest in seeing (Bentham, 18th century) and being seen (Foucault, 20th century) (Nakamura 1996). Of course, Bentham designed the panopticon in recognition of the fact that awareness of being seen motivates compliance, and it is well known that the sentiments of recognition and honorary hearts that were valued in the 18th century were thought to be seen by someone to regulate behaviour (Lovejoy 1961, Inuzuka 1997).

16 Komatsu 2002b. See also Komatsu 2019. Ishii pointed out that the change from solitary confinement to mixed confinement was consistent because ‘The method was to restrict the freedom of conversation which is the basic element of life while making people dream of returning to society’. He also pointed out that the focus of prisoners’ rehabilitation shifted from outward behaviour to internal morality (Ishii 2002, pp. 8-12).

17 It is well known that Bentham was afraid of ghosts. Burke stated ‘…Bentham in his childhood had an abnormally intense fear of ghosts, and in adult life developed a critique of language particularly zealous in disclosing kinds of words that named merely fabulous or fictitious entities having but the semblance of reality’ (Burke 1945, p. 162).

18 Semple 1993, p.314.

19 Schofield 2009, p. 70.

20 Ben-Dor 2000, p. 243.

21 There is also the problem that politics is being forgotten and questions about politics are being lost in this government concept (Semple 1992, p. 314).

22 In this sense, there is a problem of two-way (Janus-faced) discipline and control (Ignatieff 1989, p. 211-2).

23 Foucault 1975, p. 222.

24 Hume 1981, p. 258. A rough sketch of this ambiguous aspect was previously attempted in Itai 1998.

25 Komatsu 2002a.

26 See also Brunon-Ernst 2007.

27 B, iv, p. 46.

28 See the illustration at the end of this paper.

29 Foucault 1975, p.207.

30 B, x, 564. Bentham recollected that he met Burke at the home of Metcalfe, but according to Mack, Bentham met Burke at Bentham’s house (Mack 1962, p. 204). See also Himmelfarb 1968, p. 59.

31 Chwe points to the chapel of the panopticon that Foucault has ignored, suggesting that the panopticon is a place for ritual. Chew points out that the architectural twist of “apparent omnipresence of the inspector” in the panopticon, “a royal festival (a multitude seeing a single person)” and “the panopticon (a single person seeing a multitude)”, is similar in that it brings “common knowledge” to spectators and prisoners (Chwe 2001, pp. 66-73).

32 B, iv, p. 48.

33 SAM, p. 28. See also Brunon-Ernst 2012, pp. 72-85.

34 The concept of “tribunal of the world” in Panopticon was not as sophisticated as the concept of public opinion tribunal captured from the four functions in Constitutional Code. For an explanation of how the latter concept is handled in each text, see Kodama 2004, pp. 119-121.

35 PT, p. 144. It seems that Bentham started writing Political Tactics around 1788 (PT, p. xvi). ‘The Tribunal of Public Opinion may be considered as composed of two Sections: the Democratical and the Aristocratical’ (FP, p. 68).

36 See Smith A Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part 3, Chapter 2.

37 What was important for Bentham was the question: “whether in point of right it can properly be justified on any other ground, by a person addressing himself to the community” (IPML, ch. II, par.14n [d]).

38 L. J. Hume mentions that Necker attaches importance to public opinion and expresses it in the rhetoric of a tribunal (Hume 1981, p. 51), but Necker’s concept of tribunal was not as effective as that of Bentham.

39 Habermas 1990, p. 95, Parliamentary 1817, p. 974.

40 IPML, ch. II, par. 14 n (d).

41 Deontology, p. 189.

42 What Bentham means by economy is “maximize aptitude” and “minimizing costs” to realise “the greatest happiness of the greatest number” (FP, p. 4). As represented by J.N.L. Durand, “economy” was regarded as important in architecture at that time (Lefaivre and Tzonis 2004, p. 479).

43 B, iv, pp. 122-3.

44 B, iv, p. 125. In Panopticon, “privatisation of prisons was to create a system in which the pursuit of individual prison managers’ own interests led to the full functioning of their prison functions” (Komatsu 2002b, p. 24).

45 B, iv, p. 128.

46 B, iv, p. 130.

47 B, iv, pp. 127-8.

48 What is interesting in this regard is that, from 1790 to 1810, the public disclosure of the accounting books was realised in Exeter through the movement for openness in the management of the poor company in terms of hygiene (Sakashita 2002, p. 77).

49 FG, pp. 444-5, p. 483. Bentham points out that the reason for obedience and resistance to government is whether or not it is in the person’s interest to govern in Fragment on Government. Bahmueller speculates that the idea of a union of interests and obligations, which Bentham considered an important principle, came from Burke, judging by comments in the pamphlet of Burke’s 1780 speech (Bahmueller 1981, p. 108). But his interpretation is questionable because in Fragment on Government, Bentham sees obligations and benefits as inextricably linked.

50 B, x, p. 226.

51 B, xi, p. 103.

52 Semple 1993.

53 EW, iii, p. 259.

54 UC cvii, 103 (1794), clvii, 58 (1798) in Semple 1993, pp. 284-5.

55 See Takashima 2007, 2019 for a discussion of Bentham’s linguistic philosophy, including “paraphrasis”.

56 See also Bozzo-Rey 2011.

57 As to whether Bentham was an individualistic that differences among different peoples should be considered or had a universalistic idea, he stated in IPML as follows: “What is more, as the languages of nations are commonly different, as well as their laws, it is seldom that, strictly speaking, they have so much as a single word in common. However, among the words that are appropriated to the subject of law, there are some that in all languages are pretty exactly correspondent to one another” (IPML, ch. XVII, par. 24), “a natural arrangement, governed as it is by a principle which is recognized by all men, will serve alike for the jurisprudence of all nations” (IPML, ch. XVI, par.60). See Dinwiddy’s persuasive argument that Bentham’s method is universally interpreted (Dinwiddy 1982) as opposed to Lyons 1973, which is particularistic.

58 FG, ch. IV, 24.

59 FG, p. 41.

60 COR, ii, p. 157.

61 Schmidt 1923.

62 Claude Ledoux, who is famous for “salines royales d'Arc-et-Senans”, conceived of a circular (not only that, but a sphere!) building. The circular model has been adopted in many of the building plans of factories and hospitals in France since the middle of the 18th century.

63 Bender pointed out the fictitious nature of characters as a common feature of novels and prison reform in the 18th century, and that the panopticon personality was made constructible, as with the character of the hero in the novel (Bender 1987, p. 38).

64 PT, p. 31. See also RRR, pp. 408-9.

65 PT, pp. 39-40.

66 PT, p. 144. Expressions such as “the tribunal of the public” (PT, p. 38) or “the Tribunal of free criticism” (LW, p. 98) are also used.

67 PT, p. 32. Bentham did not insist that everything be public. He made a clear distinction between what should be public and what should be private (PT, pp. 144-9).

68 Bentham “seeks to align the duties of the governor with the self-interest of the governor based on thorough public monitoring and ensuring accountability” (Ando 2015, p. 32).

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Hiroaki Itai , « Surveillance and Metaphor of "Tribunal" in Bentham’s Utilitarianism »Revue d’études benthamiennes [En ligne], 16 | 2019, mis en ligne le 20 décembre 2019, consulté le 20 avril 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/etudes-benthamiennes/6132 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/etudes-benthamiennes.6132

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Hiroaki Itai 

Ochanomizu University (Japan)

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