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Saturday, June 6, 2009

The philosopher's mummy

On this date in 1832, the Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham died at the age of 44. Pursuant to his instructions, his body was preserved; it now sits, dressed, in a glass case in University College London. (Image.)

If your interest extends beyond the sensational — the drive-by stare — to the historico-socio-politico-medico-theologico elements of the philosopher’s mummy, an essay by James E. Crimmins on Bentham’s will and the pamphlet “Auto-Icon” offers a considerable fund of information.