Monthly Archives: September 2015


Rory is in second grade now and he’s already plowing through plenty of homework every night.

Here’s the kind of problem that, at the moment, he finds particularly vexing

Sam had 6 clams.  His friend Alan then gave him some more clams.  How many clams does Sam have now?


Rory on Bentham


“Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it.

In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light. But enough of metaphor and declamation: it is not by such means that moral science is to be improved.”

Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation