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Prof Philip Schofield
Prof Philip Schofield profile picture
  • Professor of the History of Legal and Political Thought
  • The Bentham Project
  • Faculty of Laws

Philip Schofield is Professor of the History of Legal and Political Thought, Director of the Bentham Project and General Editor of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham.

He is Secretary of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, which organises major international conferences. The ninth ISUS Conference was the hugely successful John Stuart Mill Bicentennial Conference held at UCL in April 2006, which was co-organised by Professor Schofield with Dr Georgios Varouxakis (QMUL). The tenth Conference, organised by Professor David Lieberman, was held at Berkeley in September 2008. Other conferences have been held in Lucca (June 2011) and New York (2012), Yokohama (2014), Lille (2016), and Karlsruhe (2018).

For more details see the Bentham Project website. Professor Schofield is Chair of the Bentham Seminar, where scholars present new research into all aspects of Bentham studies. For a list of forthcoming seminars see the Bentham Project website.

Research Groups
Research Summary
Philip Schofield's Utility and Democracy: the Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham, published by Oxford University Press, was awarded the prestigious WJM Mackenzie Book Prize for 2006 by the Political Studies Association. It was published in a paperback version in May 2009. Professor Schofield has published an introduction to Bentham’s life and thought. His Bentham: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2009) highlights Bentham’s relevance to contemporary debates in philosophy, politics, and law. Key concepts and themes, such as Bentham’s theory of logic and language, his utilitarianism, his legal theory, his panopticon prison, and his democratic politics, together with his views on religion, sex, and torture, are lucidly explored.

Professor Schofield has edited or co-edited eleven volumes in the new Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, and has made major contributions to several more in his role as General Editor. His new edition of Bentham’s Of the Limits of the Penal Branch of Jurisprudence , has superseded H.L.A. Hart’s edition of Of Laws in General, as a volume in the new edition of Laws in General. He is supervising work on new, authoritative editions of Bentham’s works on political economy and on tranportation to Australia.

He has published numerous studies related to his work on Bentham, for instance in the Journal of Legal History, Utilitas economics, logic and language, political fallacies, sexual morality, and History of Political Thought, and History of European Ideas.

Teaching Summary

Current Teaching

LLM: Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarian Tradition

2001 Professor of the History of Legal and Political Thought Laws University College London, United Kingdom
1996 – 2001 Reader in the History of Legal and Political Thought Laws University College London, United Kingdom
1993 – 1996 Lecturer Laws University College London, United Kingdom
1986 – 1993 Research Fellow Bentham Project University College London, United Kingdom
1984 – 1986 Research Assistant Bentham Project university College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1989   Master of Laws London
1984   Doctor of Philosophy University of London
1984   Postgraduate Certificate in Education Manchester Polytechnic
1980   Bachelor of Arts (Honours) University of Manchester
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