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An eccentric English philosopher’s decomposing severed head is on display at a top UK university

Jeremy
Bentham’s precise severed head, now on display at
UCL.
@MuseumOverwhelm /
Twitter

Jeremy Bentham died in 1832.

Unlike the general public, on the other hand, the English thinker made up our minds on a
slightly atypical posthumous operation.

Bentham made directions in his will, elderly
simply 21, for him to be dissected after demise and preserved as
an ‘auto-icon.’

Now, Bentham’s 269-year-old decomposing head will seem on
display for the primary time in many years at University College
London. Bentham will probably be a part of a UCL Culture exhibition
“exploring
the science and predicament of demise.”

“The exhibition positions Bentham’s head throughout the context of
his scholarship and his ideals, with regards to prevailing
concepts of the time about demise and lifeless our bodies. It asks the
query, why did he imagine donation was once necessary? And forces
us to invite what that suggests to us lately,”
mentioned Subhadra Das, Curator of Collections (UCL Culture).

“The
Mortal Remains” of Jeremy Bentham, laid out for public
dissection. Drawn by means of H. H. Pickersgill, on stone by means of Weld
Taylor.
Wellcome Images / Via
wellcomeimages.org

Bentham is broadly thought to be one of the most predominant proponents of
utilitarianism — “the
view that the morally proper motion is the motion that produces
probably the most just right.” 185 years after his demise, his stays are
nonetheless getting used for the better just right: “It has… allowed
scientists to check his DNA to look if he was once autistic. We have
been running with the Natural History Museum who’ve new
ways of learning historic DNA,” Das mentioned.

Bentham is additionally regarded as the “non secular
father” of UCL — the university’s precise founders had been
closely influenced by means of the philosopher’s beliefs and held him in
prime regard.

Despite being some of the notable theorists and social
reformers of his time, Bentham was once remarkably eccentric. He

used to hold the very pair of glass eyeballs that now relaxation
in his preserved cranium round with him in his wallet. He additionally
owned
a strolling
stick known as Dapple, a teapot named Dickey, and an aged
cat: The Reverend Sir John Langbourne.

What Does It Mean To Be Human? Curating
Heads at UCL
 

will probably be on
display at The Octagon Gallery from 2 October – 1 March 2018 and
is unfastened to all guests.

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