Check out my latest presentation built on , where anyone can create & share professional presentations, websites and photo albums in minutes. This paper reviews the foundations of Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarianism and the main criticisms to this doctrine, especially those which deem it incompatible with . El Panoptico by Jeremy Bentham, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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El vigilante, a la vez, ve todo sin ser visto. En su novelael Big Brother de Orwell es omnipresente y omnisciente.

1984 y el Panóptico de Bentham | George Orwell y Michel Foucault

El hermano mayor, quien conoce y regula todo, tiene un rostro y una voz que son ampliadas y multiplicadas por infinidad de pantallas y parlantes, recordando a cada individuo su presencia permanente y su poder absoluto. A Panopticon is an architectural design that allows for the continued surveillance of the occupants within. Englishman Jeremy Bentham conceived the concept in the 18th century.

Inin the Colombian city of Ibague, an experimental panopticon was built to incarcerate political prisoners. One hundred and eleven years later, inthe prison was closed and its occupants transferred to a modern prison.

Silenced with document incinerators and layers of white paint lay the anguished whispers, screams, obsessions, and dreams of the once imprisoned inhabitants of the Panopticon.

Michael Foucault, French philosopher, in his work Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prisonuses the idea of the Panopticon as a metaphor of western culture that emphasizes standardization and observation. He describes it as a machine to disassociate the observer and observed.

The observed is always exposed not able to see them who observe. The original machine conceived by Bentham, solid with fences that enclose and expose and fed by our fears, has mutated and evolved into an invisible global entity that spies on us from every angle.

Omnipresent, the Panopticon looks at us from both the open space and the corners, it listens to our voices, keeps a record of our habits and our movements, it knows which books we read, what wine we drink, and who we love. The machine has a meticulous binnacle of our journeys on earth and in cyberspace. The machine, in a gesture of extreme wit, has transformed the one observed into the observer of its own existence.

The Big Brother, the one who knows and regulates all areas, has a face and a voice that are multiplied and amplified by countless screens and speakers; reminding every individual of his permanent presence and his absolute power. Diego Samper who is as much an architect as he is a photographer, sculptor, painter or biologist hails from a talented family, his father a leading Columbian architect worked with Le Corbusier immediately following the Second World War.

It comes as no surprise then that he made such a resonant photographic survey of architectural form. He shows us the cathedral-like aspects of nave, aisles, and clerestory and the arcaded cloisters of a monastery. Every inch of the interior walls are covered with murals, all painted or collaged by the prisoners held there.

The word Panopticon refers to a special kind of jail. It was coined by the enormously influential English Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham He was working at a time when clockwork, based on the pendulum escapement, had come to represent the definitive model of reason: Pendulum regulated clockwork transformed the time of personal experience into something capable of being measured, divided, bought and sold — or, imposed upon in the case of penal system.


Clockwork became the prevailing metaphor used to explain all the workings of nature, man, anatomy and every institution. Convicts got time and did it. The pendulum changed the affairs of man perhaps even more than the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, or the moveable type of the printing press: Time, the medium of life, had become mechanical.

Descartes who died inseven years before Christian Huygens invented the pendulum clock, had already described man as a machine. Julian Offray de la Mettrie wrote an influential book, Man as a Machine in Given this milieu it is not surprising that the Panopticon, the jail Bentham invented, promoted and eventually had built was conceived from the beginning as an ideal machine with all the virtues of economy and the total control that mechanical perfection required.

He described the Panopticon with the morally loaded word penitentiary which he first used in Its purpose was to store and repair human machines.

Intentions can be a mixed blessing: Utilitarianism preached the politically correct policy that legal and social reforms should deliver the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Only through freedom can a man be truly happy.

Robespierre knew the he knew what people wanted; what they wanted their freedom even though they were in ignorance of their true desire. Such enlightenment gave him the responsibility to speak and act on their behalf, and free them with force if necessary. He promoted their happiness by jeremiae pain in the interest of pleasure.

Eighteenth century Britain had seen a growth of social reform. Acts of deterrence, invariably performed as a public spectacle, cloaked vengeance. Deterrence, understood as retributive justice, required strong theatre. The Murder Act was passed intwenty-four years before Bentham coined the word penitentiary. The act made provision for the dissection of criminals following execution thereby heaping retribution on the condemned even after death.

Brntham the anatomization of the body into small pieces the corpse was denied burial. Jeremiaas few mistakes are known to have been made and rl proceeded even if the subject was not quite dead. The work of disembodying was carried out in the interests of science, and scientific education fl and to help maintain law and order. The Murder Act largely replaced the traditional punishments of burning at the stake, drowning, hanging – drawing eviscerating – and quartering — and, in Britain, beheading by axe or guillotine.

Simple humiliation required no more than the stocks. The range of capital crimes started with petty theft. The number of executions at Jerwmias each year fell from in the sixteenth century to in the seventeenth. The advent of reform meant that fewer of the convicted were hung for petty crimes.


Consequently the price of corpses available for jerfmias universities increased. In addition, changing the sentences brought about further expenses. But to keep a prisoner at Pentonville in the mid-nineteenth century took about 15 shillings a week. Prisoners were therefore employed to repay their debt to society. Economics played a big part in the debate around reform.

Fewer staff were needed to observe. Jails were to be centrally planned in a radial form. From the centre the jailor could watch all the jerfmias. They were narrow and deep.

At one end the grill-form of the cell door let on to a circulating balcony. At the other a high exterior window admitted daylight. Optics played a double role: Millbank Prison thus called, was demolished in to become the site of the Tate gallery. It is not too fanciful to say that this historical conjunction represents a tense union of opposites; a dialectical polarity of art and incarceration, freedom and confinement. Freedom, standing in relationship to obedience and authority is obviously far too vast a subject to enter here.


I shall do no more than mention that freedom has two forms, one passive and the other active: I reckon these intuitions come from the experience of the unimpeded movement of the body – even when it is limited to pacing the space of the cell. But when totally constrained by a straightjacket, solitary confinement or starvation a man is locked within himself.

Beyond there is nothing. He has been mummified alive and freedom ceases to be even a word. The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben in Remnants of Auschwitz describes the condition of the living dead — a being known in the camps as a Musselmannan object once a man, whose subjective life had been extinguished. All that remained was an unknowable entity standing at the extreme threshold between life and death.

Like the rest of us, prisoners may achieve solace or salvation through religion, contemplation, absurdity or humour.

El Panóptico de Jeremy Bentham, Vi

The images prove the strength and unbounded freedom of the imagination. The whole jeremiass was smothered in panoptifo, because not unlike a prisoner of war camp the administration was in the hands of the inmates not the guards. In consequence there was sufficient freedom for art to flourish as richly as it did.

There were bnetham criminals in the jail although it was primarily built for political prisoners. Images of armed resistance are everywhere. Guns and masked figures abound. Many deeply felt images coming from the Christian tradition can be seen, and there are a few from Islamic sources. The Virgin is shown baptizing the infant Jesus, Christ is martyred, while pain, sin and redemption are everywhere. Meanwhile, in the mode of William Blake, a Satanic winged snake is free to fly in the garden.

A dispassionate saint looks straight jeremiax us; in his right hand he holds a quill, in the left an axe. There are images of desire and fantasy. Bathing beauties occur with generous supply of bums and brassieres but no pornography. Comic strip characters are very much alive and often rendered with ironic humour: Bart Simpson is seen mooning, and then having broken his chains he runs off to freedom wearing striped prison garb.

The Grand Reaper jeremizs an alternative escape route across the Styx: Canavis another exit is writ large but not often.

There are many wonderful palimpsests of peeling fragments as if the surface of the wall was, in the imagination, being torn apart. As if the image of a hole, by slight of hand, could be an actual way out. But there was no way out. All exits were closely guarded. Micro-management, the control of prisoners by prisoners, was necessary to keep the costs down.

It was of course closely scrutinized as was every other activity. Panoptic design assured total control.