Jim Crimmins is Professor of Political Theory with the Department of Political Science at Huron University College, a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and an Adjunct Research Professor in Political Science at Western. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Wales, where he was born and raised, ...
Jim Crimmins is Professor of Political Theory with the Department of Political Science at Huron University College, a member of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and an Adjunct Research Professor in Political Science at Western. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Wales, where he was born and raised, and his PhD in Political Theory from The University of Western Ontario. Dr. Crimmins has been a professor for 24 years, teaching at Huron for the past 21 years. He has been awarded a Canada Council (SSHRC) post-doctoral fellowship and four other major SSHRC research grants. He served as Dean of Arts and Social Science, 1994-99.
I have two major projects at the moment. The first is a book on Bentham's thought and writings during the later years of his long and productive life, funded by a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This follows two previous books on Bentham's philosophy. Throughout his life Bentham's thinking centered on the idea that social, legal, economic and political questions ought to be resolved by the application of the utility principle - the greatest happiness principle.
My interest in Bentham began 28 years ago when I embarked on an investigation of his religious writings for a doctoral thesis. Bentham's utilitarianism continues to have a significant influence on philosophical issues today and on political and legal thought, and in this regard he is one of the essential philosophers to study. My work on utilitarianism has also encompassed the utilitarian thought of John Stuart Mill, a selection of less well-known 18th century religious utilitarians, and American utilitarians in the 19th century. The latter area has received little attention from scholars in the past, and I intend to undertake more research on the reception of utilitarian ideas in America in the future.
The second project is the Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism, edited with Douglas Long of The University of Western Ontario. Dr. Long was my PhD supervisor years ago and we have both continued to research in the same area. The encyclopedia will feature over 200 articles written by approximately 150 writers from around the world, with myself and Dr. Long writing a good number of the entries, and editing and reviewing all the contributions prior to publication.