Utilitarianism, Feminism, and the Franchise

Terence Ball

in Reappraising Political Theory

Published in print November 1994 | ISBN: 9780198279952
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598753 | DOI:
 Utilitarianism, Feminism, and the Franchise

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Here, I re‐examine the sources of John Stuart Mill's feminist sympathies. After looking closely at two oft‐touted candidates—Jeremy Bentham and Harriet Taylor Mill—I conclude that neither played the role attributed to them by some modern feminists. A third and heretofore unsuspected thinker—namely his own father, James Mill—proves to be a much more plausible and probable source of the younger Mill's feminist views.

Keywords: Jeremy Bentham; feminism; Thomas Babington Macaulay; Harriet Taylor Mill; James Mill; John Stuart Mill; utilitarianism; women's rights; women's suffrage

Chapter.  12987 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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