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When politics wanders in darkness - a study of interest and virtue in Tocqueville´s Democracy in America.

Grant number: 10/02307-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2010
Effective date (End): March 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Theory
Principal Investigator:Eunice Ostrensky
Grantee:Roberta Kelly Soromenho Nicolete
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

According to Alexis de Tocqueville, in the state of equality of conditions liberty is under serious threat. The passion for equality, which is the first and most intense passion of a democratic people, may prompt them to exchange liberty for despotism, in so far as they are willing to surrender themselves entirely to the search of material goods, and to resign their power of judgment for the sake of the opinion of the majority, which is the real source of authority in such a social state. Taking this fragile balance between liberty and equality into account, this dissertation aims at examining the nature of the state of equality of conditions in Tocqueville's Democracy in America. We argue that the consideration of American customs allows Tocqueville to postulate a normative principle, the doctrine of interest well understood, which may link analytically virtue and liberty. To investigate this relation, according to my interpretative hypothesis, is the key to understanding Tocqueville's original answer to a question posed by an important nineteenth century political debate.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
NICOLETE, Roberta Kelly Soromenho. When politics walks in the darkness: a study on interest and virtue in Democracy in America by Tocqueville. 2013. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD) São Paulo.

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