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de Tocqueville Day IV

de Tocqueville Day IV - Western Political Thought II de...

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Western Political Thought II 4/1/08 de Tocqueville Day IV Adapting and modifying Rousseau Borrows from things he sees going on in American and in England Democratic Individual Empty o Will to accept the general Restive o Constantly anxious and in movement for objects Enervated o Focus on the easy, addicted to materialism Low aims Facile thoughts Uni-dimensional thought of the general public Also is divided by their intense skepticism and focus on tangible goods, but they’re acceptance of facile political ideas de Tocqueville says that the democratic individual is the Hobbesian individual o Hobbesian individual creates conditions for slavery Objects or new political masters Spiritual fanaticism o Sees rigidness that he never saw anywhere else Links it to the divided individual o Accept the facile because they don’t have the time and assume that the general is right because it is just like him o When people look up beyond the everyday, they have a hard time doing it because they aren’t used to it Page 510, 511 o de Tocqueville’s rejoinder is that we are imaginative What is the best life? Where did we come from? etc. Both de Tocqueville and Mill say that there are better and worse ways to live their lives without taking away the right for people to be what they want to be Civic and political associations o Intermediate groups between the individual and the state o Church groups, parties, temperance groups etc. o Provide attachments, provide sense of community nad sense of practical wisdom o Rooted in past aristocratic institutions o The “Natue of democracy undercuts these Says that religion is important in creating long range goals for the democratic individual o Says religion should hold onto the idea of the immortal soul o The concept of the immortal soul is important for virtue Says that moral philosophers must teach long range goals
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