This concept of ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ is known as utilitarianism.Despite the writing and recognition that Jeremy Bentham brought to identifying modern utilitarianism, it was first used by Beccaria, which later influenced Bentham’s work.In Beccaria’s Essays on Crimes and Punishment, we can see how the ultimate goal of his work was to make decisions on the basis that it would maximize happiness and minimize punishment.Tags: Critical Analysis Of Montaigne'S EssaysPurpose Of An EssayBen Hur EssaysCreative Writing ScotlandShort Essay Writing GuideCollege Essay EditorWhat Is Metathesis Reaction In ChemistryRelationship Between Othello And Iago Essay
Originally published anonymously in 1764, Dei Delitti e Delle Pene was the first systematic study of the principles of crime and punishment.
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We engage in a social contract to reframe from crime because we know the penalties associated with a crime.
Beccaria describes this as “giving up a portion of our personal autonomy, for the greater good of the rest of society” (Mc Shane & Williams III, 1997).
His essay was widely distributed and read, which brought him widespread acclaim.
Unsatisfied and wanting to “challenge the existing structure of eighteenth century Italian society”, Beccaria “based many of his ideas…the philosophy of the greatest good for the greatest number” (Martin et al., 1990).
For those hedonistic few that disregarded laws to seek pleasure, Beccecaria defends that they are innocent until proven guilty, but first, crimes and punishment has to be clear.
When it came to identifying crimes, Beccaria developed three general categories: crimes that threaten the existence of society, crimes that injure the security and property of individuals, and crimes that are disruptive of the public peace and tranquility (Martin et al., 1990).
The points that distinguish the ideas expressed in the Classical School from other schools is the criteria for measuring crimes.
Opposed to taking “intent” into consideration when measuring a crime, Beccaria states that it is the actions of the individual that is of upmost importance.