Rationale of Punishment Doesn’t Translate Dumont

face of a prisoner

Bentham editors and scholars have inaccurately described The Rationale of Punishment, edited by Richard Smith, as a translation of the second volume of Étienne Dumont’s Théorie des Peines et des Récompenses. See, e.g., Bowring (1843), Fuller (2000), Draper (2002) and CUWS source-text meta-description. Although Smith reordered some chapters in Dumont’s volume and added seven new chapters, Smith generally followed the organization of Dumont’s volume quite closely. Smith did not, however, largely translate Dumont’s French back into English. The Rationale of Punishment includes much verbatim text from Bentham manuscripts.^ Smith’s edition contains Bentham’s statements on prisoners’ communication, statements that Dumont’s text obscures.

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