David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Oxford University Press (2005)
Americans have an unwavering faith in democracy and are ever eager to import it to nations around the world. But how democratic is our own "democracy"? If you can vote, if the majority rules, if you have elected representatives--does this automatically mean that you have a democracy? In this eye-opening look at an ideal that we all take for granted, classical scholar Paul Woodruff offers some surprising answers to these questions. Drawing on classical literature, philosophy, and history--with many intriguing passages from Sophocles, Aesop, and Plato, among others--Woodruff immerses us in the world of ancient Athens to uncover how the democratic impulse first came to life. The heart of the book isolates seven conditions that are the sine qua non of democracy: freedom from tyranny (including the tyranny of majority rule), harmony (the blending of different views), the rule of law, natural equality, citizen wisdom, reasoning without knowledge, and general education. He concludes that a true democracy must be willing to invite everyone to join in government. It must respect the rule of law so strongly that even the government is not above the law. True democracy must be mature enough to accept changes that come from the people. And it must be willing to pay the price of education for thoughtful citizenship. Ancient Athens didn't always live up to these ideals. Nor does modern America. If we learn anything from the story of Athens, Woodruff concludes, it should be this--never lose sight of the ideals of democracy. This compact, eloquent book illuminates these ideals and lights the way as we struggle to keep democracy alive at home and around the world.
|Keywords||Democracy History Democracy History Democracy Philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$6.95 new (66% off) $18.80 direct from Amazon (6% off) Amazon page|
|Call number||JC75.D36.W66 2005|
|ISBN(s)||0195304543 9780195177183 9780195304541|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Jamie Terence Kelly (2014). Democracy as the Rule of a Small Many. Critical Review 26 (1-2):80-91.
Paul Woodruff (2011). Lighting Up the Lizard Brain: The New Necessity of Theater. Topoi 30 (2):151-155.
Similar books and articles
Keith M. Dowding, Robert E. Goodin, Carole Pateman & Brian Barry (eds.) (2004). Justice and Democracy: Essays for Brian Barry. Cambridge University Press.
Joshua Cohen (2009). Philosophy, Politics, Democracy: Selected Essays. Harvard University Press.
Julia L. Shear (2011). Polis and Revolution: Responding to Oligarchy in Classical Athens. Cambridge University Press.
Emil Višňovský (2010). Democracy as Culture: Deweyan Pragmatism in a Globalized World (Review). Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 46 (2):321-327.
Emil ViÅ¡ÅˆovskÃ½ (2010). Democracy as Culture: Deweyan Pragmatism in a Globalized World. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 46 (2).
Robert Keith Shaw (2009). The Phenomenology of Democracy. Policy Futures in Education 7 (3):340-348.
Adam Przeworski (2010). Democracy and the Limits of Self-Government. Cambridge University Press.
Teodros Kiros (2011). Philosophical Essays. Red Sea Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads50 ( #82,333 of 1,792,926 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #170,535 of 1,792,926 )
How can I increase my downloads?