By Alexis de Tocqueville
" J'avoue que dans l'Amérique j'ai vu plus que l'Amérique ; j'y ai cherché une photo de los angeles démocratie elle-même, de ses penchants, de son caractère, de ses préjugés, de ses passions ". los angeles gloire de Tocqueville n'est pas seulement celle d'un analyste politique exceptionnel ; c'est aussi, depuis los angeles récente redécouverte de son oeuvre, celle d'un philosophe politique qui serait en même temps un classique de l. a. sociologie, et qui pourrait aider à comprendre les problèmes qui se posent constamment dans les démocraties modernes. L'égalité des stipulations, l'individualisme, le despotisme démocratique, les family members entre maîtres et serviteurs, l'esprit de liberté et l'esprit de faith, autant de notions qui dessinent aujourd'hui encore les contours d'une philosophie de l. a. démocratie.
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Extra resources for De la démocratie en Amérique
The resulting research agenda assumes that Plato’s ideal of a well-lived life is the ultimate end for the sake of which social and political arrangements exist and relative to which they ought finally to be evaluated. In effect, then, Plato’s argument takes his perfectionist ideal as the ultimate touchstone of rational justification in politics. Since, on his view, everyone’s well-being is (allegedly) equally at stake in the design and effects of our political arrangements, that ideal affords an impartial standpoint from which to evaluate them.
25 26 An Introduction to Political Philosophy ethical beliefs about their proper roles and responsibilities, as well as their views about how others ought to be acting. These beliefs will also tend to guide their actions, and so conceptions of justice will have effects on what agents choose for themselves, how they treat each other, what expectations they make of themselves and others, what they criticize each other for, how they allocate important social and political responsibilities, how wealth and property are divided, and much else.
It would be strange to say that there could be an essentially just society that is in no respect better than an unjust one. Indeed, we would normally say that a society we know to be just is in some very fundamental sense a better society than one we know to be unjust. We are likely to believe this even when the adjective ‘‘just’’ is applied to things we otherwise regard as bad. We may think, for example, that war is always regrettable, but would nonetheless accept that a just war is in some important respect better, or at any rate less bad, than an unjust one.
De la démocratie en Amérique by Alexis de Tocqueville