Friday, October 17, 2008

Jeremy Bentham

The most notable person I have found to have been publicly dissected was Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham--and it was at his own request! He directed that his body be anatomized and his skeleton be used to prepare an "auto-icon." His wishes were carried out after his death in 1832 by padding, clothing, and posing the skeleton (pictured). The head is made of wax; Bentham's own head was displayed between his feet, but is now stored elsewhere. The auto-icon has been on display at University College London since 1850.

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