Uncommon Sense: Jeremy Bentham, Queer Aesthetics, and the Politics of Taste
"In his extensive private manuscripts, Jeremy Bentham used same-sex male intimacy as a philosophical test-case for the full political and social enfranchisement of women, colonized and enslaved persons, and sexual nonconformists. Bentham argued that oppression in law, philosophy, religion, and literature were all based on aesthetic hierarchies that refused to acknowledge differences of taste in sensory pleasure, including sexual pleasure. In Uncommon Sense, Carrie Shanafelt reads Bentham's sexual nonconformity papers as an argument for the toleration of aesthetic difference as the foundation for egalitarian liberty. Shanafelt challenges the common image of Bentham as a dehumanizing calculator or an eccentric projector, instead showing Bentham at his most intimate, outraged by injustice and desperate for the end of discriminatory violence"--
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