THE CONCEPTS OF LIBERTY, FEMINISM AND DEMOCRACY IN MILL’S POLITICAL THOUGHT: AN EXAMINATION OF A NEW ENLIGHTENMENT AGE IN THE 21STCENTURY
The problem of equality and the idea of the good in a normative human society has always been a perennial one. Mill’s theory of utilitarian principle is characterized by some fundamental flaws about the ultimate goal of man’s happiness. How can we measure a certain amount of pleasure? How do we know when a man is happy? Is the issue of happiness relative? These are some fundamental questions posed by Mill’s calculus principle. It has been argued from the Mill’s philosophical perspective represents representative democracy. His ethics and politics in the state are built on the solid bedrock of public sphere of law and the private sphere of morality. Mill’s principle of utilitarianism is embedded in democratic principle and the equality of the sexes. It demonstrates the importance of mutual sympathy or cooperation. He believes women are relegated to the background and they are treated like slaves. His moral and political philosophy is grounded on the common interests of the people. Mill’s conceptualization of moral education is aimed at human psychology or moral virtue. His summation is that morality and justice remain the normative foundation of democratic society and his utilitarian principle is an explanatory model. This paper will be analytic in its approach by dovetailing into the concepts of liberty, feminism and democracy in Mill’s moral and political philosophy. This paper therefore, concludes that Mill’s philosophy demonstrates a shared common interest of all in normative society. His feminist ideal best represents the formation and the transformation of human character.