Bentham’s Cookbook


Jeremy Bentham’s Prison Cooking is a real book. Need I say more?

The book is based on a collection of Bentham’s papers marked “Panopticon – cookery, errors of present practice” and was put together as part of the Transcribe Bentham initiative at University College London. “The book features beautiful original illustrations by Jake Lamerton, and contains images, recipes, and notes from Bentham’s manuscripts.” You can see some of it, and order it, here.

Here’s the recipe for “Soup.” (Don’t complain about the name of the dish; the ink that would have gone into printing something more descriptive is being used on fundraising materials for Oxfam.)

Bentham final 6.8.15.indd

Such a soup might provide us with “the pleasures of the taste or palate; including whatever pleasures are experienced in satisfying the appetites of hunger and thirst,” but alas, Bentham does not clarify which of the other twenty-odd types of pleasure he catalogs we can expect when partaking of this culinary endeavor.

Do pay attention to “Bentham’s Tips,” though, as you wouldn’t want to lethally overdose on copper. That would not be for the best. Unless you’re a really bad cook.

(via Phil Baker)

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langdon
langdon
5 years ago

I’ll wait for Berkeley’s “101 ways to prepare tar water”Report

Kenny
Kenny
5 years ago

Is the right hand column indicating the cost? Or is it that one unit of labour must be mixed with the other ingredients?Report

Jeremy Fantl
Jeremy Fantl
5 years ago

Sartre also has a cookbook: http://pvspade.com/Sartre/cookbook.htmlReport

Alan White
Alan White
5 years ago

So Bentham was the first “To Serve Man” with “It’s a cookbook!”Report

Mark
Mark
5 years ago

Some more contemporary works also worth of note:

Christine Korsgaard, The Sauces of Normativity
Shelly Kagan, The Geometry of DessertReport

Cathy Legg
Cathy Legg
2 years ago

This recipe is very ketogenic! Prof. Bentham appears to have been ahead of his time…Report