The mummified head of Jeremy Bentham and a cat named Langbourne

Jeremy Bentham was a renowned English philosopher and a cat lover. He lived between 1748 and 1832. He preached that in an ideal world human behaviour should produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. This should be our guiding objective in life (fat chance). Despite his laudable objective he appears to have disliked people. He was described as ‘suffering few persons to visit him, rarely dining out’.

He preferred the company of his adored cat, Langbourne. He liked to give him high falutin names such as The Reverend Sir John Langbourned D.D.. This reminds me of Mark Twain and his liking of creative cat names. It is pleasurable giving your cat fancy names. Cat breeders do it all the time.

Bentham insisted that his body be preserved to become an ‘auto-icon’. He wanted his body to be brought out at parties as company for his friends who missed him.

For over 150 years his preserved body was displayed, fully dressed, in a glass fronted casket at University College, London. Unfortunately his head partly decomposed because of a ‘mummification mistake’. Being too distasteful for delicate eyes it was removed and kept in a safe! The head was checked annually to make sure it was still intact.

It is going to be DNA tested to see if he was autistic. He was a great man and an atheist. His head is now on display I believe.

In the furtherance of his well-known philosophical concept Bentham encouraged people donate their bodies to science.

Some people love the domestic cat is because they dislike people in general but need company as all humans do. The human is a sociable creature but ironically a lot of the time humans dislike each other. Humans seem to be a messed-up species.

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