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The Strange Case of Jeremy Bentham

Upon his request in a detailed letter attached to his will, the body of British philosopher Jeremy Bentham was dissected and preserved after his death in 1832 by his disciple Thomas Southwood Smith. The head and skeleton were placed in a wooden cabinet Bentham called the "Auto-icon." The skeleton was dressed in Bentham's clothes and padded with hay. The Auto-icon was intended to incorporate Bentham's actual head, mummified to resemble its appearance in life. However, Southwood Smith's ...


10 Truly Bizarre Stories About Taxidermy

Jeremy Bentham and His Hard-Partying Head Not all taxidermy has been performed on non-human animals; every now and then a human body would join in on the post-mortem fun. Long before the plastinated anatomical wonders of Body World and its many imitators, British philosopher Jeremy Bentham sought to see his own body preserved beyond his demise. Bentham's "Auto-Icon," which sits in a wooden cabinet in the main building of University College London, isn't truly taxidermy; the consists of a…


I Hung Out With Jeremy Bentham's Severed Head And This Is What I Learned

I Hung Out With Jeremy Bentham’s Severed Head And This Is What I Learned


Jeremy Bentham ( /ˈbɛnθəm/; 15 February 1748 – 6 June 1832) was an English author, jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. He is best known for his advocacy of utilitarianism and animal rights.


The Strange Case of Jeremy Bentham

At his request, Jeremy Bentham's body was preserved after his death and put on display. The mummification of the head left it rather macabre, so a wax head was used in it's place. The real head sat on the floor between Bentham's feet for many years.


BENTHAM. Jeremy (1748-1832) Philosopher. Reformer 50 Queen Anne's Gate, Westminster, SW1H 9AA. City of Westminster.