chapter  V
20 Pages

The Duty and Interest Junction Principle

Up until now the emphasis in this book has been upon fiction, clarification, and enlightenment. Various legal practices, various justifications of these and other practices by lawyers, and various accounts of the nature of law itself have been successively clarified by proposals involving replacement, elimination, analysis, or redescription. Bentham’s purpose, however, was not just to reach or promote greater understanding by means of clarification. He was a practical as well as a theoretical thinker. Indeed, it follows from his master principle, the principle of utility, that practical consequences are the only justification for theoretical activities. What he intended to do with the law was not just to show how its nature could be better understood but also to show how it could be used as an instrument in a particular practical project. For this project more than clarification is required. Other principles and assumptions are involved, and it is the task of this chapter to draw them out and to distinguish them one from another.