Universität Erfurt

Max-Weber-Kolleg

Prof. Dr. Emmanuelle de Champs: Fellow

Universität Erfurt

Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien

Postfach 900 221

99105 Erfurt

Vita

Emmanuelle de Champs is Professor of British History and Civilisation at Université de Cergy-Pontoise (France). She studied at Ecole Normale Supérieure LSH, holds a MA in Legal and Political Theory from University College London and a doctorate from Université Paris III. She completed her habilitation in 2014.

Her research focuses on the thought of the English utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham. She coordinated the first complete French translation of Bentham’s An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (Introduction aux principes de morale et de législation, Vrin 2011).  In recent years, she has worked more specifically on Bentham’s connection with France, from the late Enlightenment to the July Revolution of 1830. Her latest book is Enlightenment and Utility. Bentham in French, Bentham in France, Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Research Project

Happiness, Law and Progress in an Age of Revolution (1780-1800)

At the Max Weber Kolleg, Prof. de Champs will broaden her research into late-Enlightenment intellectual history by jointly exploring the thought of Jeremy Bentham and Nicolas de Condorcet. She aims at mapping out (and hopefully reassessing) the rift on natural rights that took place in that period in Enlightenment legal thinking, Condorcet becoming one of the strongest defenders of natural human rights, while Bentham strongly opposed them and was soon taken as one of the leading theoreticians of legal positivism. Her sources include Bentham’s French manuscripts of the 1780s (Projet d’un corps complet de loix) and Condorcet’s legal and political writings.

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