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4 Bentham, Mill, Grote, and An Analysis of the Influence of Natural Religion on the Temporal Happiness of Mankind

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the production of An Analysis of the influence of natural religion on the temporal happiness of mankind, first published in 1822 by George Grote, from Bentham's manuscripts on the utility of religion. It undertakes a preliminary comparison between the manuscripts and the book. The basis of this comparison also includes Grote's essay on Magic, the influence of James Mill, and Bentham's reaction to the book. The chapter argues that Bentham and Grote had different agenda, and produced different texts, and that to regard Bentham as the author of An Analysis of the influence of natural religion is misleading. Grote's early essay on Magic, completed by Christmas 1820, was a thinly-disguised attack on religion. Mill recommended Grote and the essay to the editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and recommended Grote to Bentham as an editor of his writings on the utility of religion.

Keywords: Bentham's manuscripts; George Grote; James Mill; natural religion



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