>> So today we're going to be talking about Charles Darwin, and a very different kind of writing, and a different political and historical context. Darwin is writing in the middle of the nineteenth century, so we leave behind Emma Bovary and Flaubert's art for arts sake, and the, the beginnings of modernism in France, to go back in time a little bit, because we're going to go back to even before 1850 and talk about Darwin and the culture of enlightenment in England. How it's a little different actually very different, [laugh] from France, and Germany. So the, the first slide that we're showing you today is, is has a, has a quote from Darwin in 1839. And he says, it is difficult to believe in the dreadful but quiet war lurking just below the serene facade of nature. And, and, and we use it as a header this week, because, for Darwin, the facade of nature was very important. He paid attention to surfaces. This is really key for Darwin. He, he, he is not someone who, who thought that surface was, completely deceptive, and somehow, you had to get through illusion to get to the truth. Darwin thought, a the truth was there. On the surfaces of things, on the appearance of things, but you just had to learn how to read those appearances properly. Darwin's faith in the capacity to understand the surfaces of things, the appearances of things really comes out of a long tradition of empiricism in England, and, back to the really to the days, of the glorious revolution the revolution of 1688. For our purposes and, and, and you can read and watch more about these things in various textbooks and encyclopedia of European history. For our purposes the intellectual history of the period owes so much to John Locke, a figure instrumental in the late in the revolution of 1688, and, and the late 17th century more, generally. The enlightenment in England was less confrontational than it turned out to be in, in France, less confrontational and as I said, more empirical. More concerned with sensation, with how things feel and the truth that one could derive from, from how things feel. For Locke we should just get some key concepts on the table. Again, all of this is, is background for Darwin's work in the nineteenth century. For Locke, consent was a, a major category that is, he wasn't, as concerned, with the critique and, with, subversion, or, unmasking. For, for Locke, consent was a key category. Because for, in Locke's political philosophy, the social contract was based on the consent of the governed, and that consent was a rational decision by the governed to exchange a portion of their freedom for increased security. But Locke did argue that there was a right to revolution, that is that, there were times where the government was so abusive that, that exchange of, of freedom for security, wa, was tilted out of balance. And therefore one had a right to change government. That was certainly a, a radical notion in the late 17th century. And he also believed in the Locke believed in the Natural rights that were the underpinning of the social contract. The natural rights that would be so important actually for the founding of the American Constitution at the end of the eighteenth century. Limited government is, is, part of Locke's political philosophy moderation, li, limited government, and, most importantly, toleration. Locke comes at the end of a, the 17th century, when, Great Britain had undergone a series of, of rebellions and civil wars, and many of them grounded in, religious disputes. And, Locke develops a political philosophy, very different from the rest of continental Europe, arguing for, toleration, so that, people could agree to disagree, without, fighting. They could agree to disagree without thinking their advocating some essential duty to convince everybody else they were right. We take a lot of these things for granted today, but in Locke's time and argument for toleration for, the coexistence of very different religious beliefs within a single country was, a, a was a radical notion, a, a, notion that was, was a departure from the status quo. So, just to, to put a, a point on the differences between this English approach, and the French and the Germans. For the French thinkers now into the 18th century, custom was the enemy, the status quo. Custom was something that was duplicitous, and the philosoph, the intellectual, had the good sense to see through custom. In Germany they view nature with suspicion. And in England there is a confidence both in custom and in nature. That both custom and nature are seen to be, important, building blocks for a legitimate, government, and important building blocks for a reasonable philosophy. And now, that's really, the kind of, distant background to our subject this week. And we'll get a little closer in the eighteenth century with Jeremy Bentham. Jeremy Bentham, that's a name that will be familiar to many of you as the father of Utilitarianism. And, when we talk about this material in class I, I, I have an opportunity to ask people before he got into it,.So what do you think utilitarianism is, and a spirit of utility, what does that mean? And, we don't have an opportunity to have Conversation in, in a online course. But you might stop for a minute and, and, and write down a couple of things that you think utilitarianism might mean. And, and then start the tape off again to, to, to hear one of, some of the ideas that were key, for Bentham who, who lived from 1748 to 1832. Bentham, reads Locke, but he reads Locke in a, in a dramatic way. For Bentham, you, you want to get rid of all of the things that you can't, quantify, that you can't put into a rational system, through which you can measure your results. And that means, you get rid of a concept of human nature, you get rid of the notion of the order of the universe, which is still important to lock, and perhaps most importantly and most surprisingly Bentham say's get rid of precedent. Take a more extreme example if we, we think there's is a terrorist plot and we have a feeling that the terrorist plot is based in Alpha delta phi, my own, my old stomping grounds. And so, we go in there and we just start torturing people, to find out because, the, the, we only had tortured 19 people at most, and the benefits are for thousands and thousands of people. I think what you meant by what would be morally suspect is, it's wrong to, it's wrong to torture even one person, to benefit thousands. And from the utilitarian perspective, that's not morality that's superstition. Unless you construct an argument that in the long run, it's better for everybody. But it should be, it's, it's not a question of violating that person's rights as there are no human rights, there are no natural rights, it's a, what benefits the most people. And there are times when there will be conflict between, you want to knock down a coin and I what to flip it, and, and some of them can be solved and some of them can't be solved. But what you can't, what Bentham doesn't want us to do, is to solve it by going, well, that's the way we always did it, or solved it by saying, there's a deeper moral perspective, it's always wrong to kill, it's always wrong to torture. Because to prevent them, those are just customs Okay, their not reasons. He famously said, antiquity is no reason. This is very important in England because there is no written constitution there, and, and the notion of common law is very important. And that means that the, the legal system is based on a reading of the past that, which allows a judge to say, well its always been this way or its been this way for quite a long time, therefore it should be that way. And Bentham rejects this kind of reason, says it's, it's irrational. Antiquity, age is no reason. We have to find a measurable reason why a certain practice is legitimate. That's a key for utilitarianism. So they're against, utilitarians are against the concept of human nature, you just can' really prove what it is. They're against this notion of an order of the universe, God's purpose or anything like that, again you can't prove what it is, and they're against the notion of precedent. So what is utilitarianism for? They're for developing a rational schema for evaluating all practices and beliefs without recourse to any essences or substances. That is, any foundation that, you couldn't, substantiate or prove. And they want to, use a rational schema, while avoiding as scrupulously as possible, those things that can't be measured. So in your philosophy, get rid of concepts you can't prove, and get of rid of techniques you can't measure. That's key for Bentham. And, if you know one thing about utilitarianism, you probably know the saying the greatest happiness for the greatest number. That's the, that's what the one sentence people seem to know about utilitarianism. Just like with Marx, the one sentence is the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle. In Bentham, it's, the greatest, happiness for the greatest number. We should ask ourselves, what does that mean? It, it really means trying to develop a calculus for measuring pleasure of any kind. What happiness really is for Bentham about the, the pleasure one gets out of certain activities. And the critique that will be made of utilitarianism then, as now, is, is really around the, the, the inability of utilitarianism to say, are some pleasures better than others. The utilitarianians say we, we can't measure that. We, you say you like watching pornography, someone else says the, she likes what, measuring to opera. That's, that's a measure of taste. What matters to us is, how much pleasure you get from it. Some people get pleasure out of doing things that we say our morally bad. Well that's to, let's, that's not, that's not our business as utiliatrians. And utilitarians are really interested in a calculus of pleasure, that would allow us to say what provides the greatest good to the greatest number. Without saying, without ranking, without ranking what goods are, are, what, what, what one is higher than the other. Now utilitarianism is, a powerful engine for thinking about social life, but it gives rise in the beginning of the 19th century, really the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century to, romanticism in England, which is a rejection of this, this focus on the things that can be measured. For the, the romantics what's really key, are the things you can't measure. The romantics want us to pay attention to the things that really matter, because you can't measure them. Pricely because you can't measure them. The things that Bentham and the utilitariamists, the utilitarians seem to reject. There's a whole group of English romantics, but the most important ones for our purposes are, are Wordsworth and Coleridge. And I just say again a word about each of them because we, we're really going back to Darwin later in this lecture.