By Claes G. Ryn

This learn is going to the center of ethics and politics. Strongly argued and lucidly written, the e-book makes a very important contrast among different types of democracy. the writer defends constitutional democracy as in all likelihood supportive of the moral lifestyles, whereas he criticizes the plebiscitary type of democracyas undermiining man's ethical nature. The ebook comprises an intensive interpretation and refutation of the tips of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and gives a brand new standpoint at the American structure and the connection among ethical neighborhood and self-interest. This variation contains an incredible new part at the universal strong and the country of Western democracy.


"One of the easiest books at the terrain the place politics and morality precariously overlap, urged vigorously to all who're concerned about the lack of political morality."--Peter Viereck

"An very good and masses wanted research, and synthesis, of the relation of man's ethical existence to democratic, constitutional self rule."--Vera Lex

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Extra resources for Democracy and the Ethical Life: A Philosophy of Politics and Community

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This understanding of conscience forms part of a general view of human nature, according to which man has a spiritual existence, a kind of self-awareness and freedom that is lacking in physical nature and in the animal world. Together with the type of ethical philosophy with which it is indissolubly bound up, that view has come under attack as based on "unscientific," nonempirical evidence. The last two centuries have seen a vast and increasing amount of activity in the natural sciences. The resulting progress in bringing physical nature under our control has endowed the methods of experimental science with an immense prestige, creating a wish in many quarters for their widest possible application.

Bentley, The Process of Government (Bloomington: Principia Press, 1935),201,200. 2 William James, Essays in Pragmatism, ed. , 1968), 145. " 3 In part, the attempted introduction into political science of methods believed to approach the type of rigor and precision characteristic of methods in the natural sciences may be a reaction against instances of sloppy scholarship and extravagant speculation in the past. But the proposed cure has important features which are as problematical as the disease.

It is forgotten that while regulation of conflict may be the first and foremost task of government, citizens have an ethical conscience which demands more. Man's moral aspirations, too, are a part of politicallife. Although these may not often triumph over the demands of the power play, they are there to give a sense of higher direction to politics, to smooth the rough edges of the war of wills, at rare times even to raise government to a level of some moral dignity. Man's ethical conscience is not the ordering principle of politics, not even in a democracy, but it does pull our will in the direction of worthier political goals, limiting to some degree their ingredient of mere selfishness.

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