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Democracy joins philosophy when it comes time to consider human nature; the content (if any) of human nature, and so to consider whether democracy is feasible at allvery much a philosophical question. Is it possible forfeasible to expect each person to govern themselves? In general, can people perceive accurately and think rationally?

The expectation that people be reasonable assumes their ability to be so. Being reasonable might seem as natural and noncontroversial as breathing, but the term “reasonable” packs a lot of power. When society expects reasonableness, its underlying assumption is that people can perceive accurately, think orderly, and choose prudently.

Not every society has been willing to recognize such abilities in individual people. To the extent that society assumes that people cannot do soare not able to competently make their own choices, then to that extent society must be ruled bywill remove decisions from the individual and transfer them elsewhere (a committee, a monarch). To the extent that society assumes most people can ably make a choice, society will move decision-making power to the individual’s end of the spectrum.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There is a lot of philosophy packed into those words.

Democracy joins philosophy when it comes time to consider human nature, and so to consider whether democracy is feasible at all. Is it possible for each person to govern themselves? In general, can people perceive accurately and think rationally? To the extent that people cannot do so, then to that extent society must be ruled by a monarch.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There is a lot of philosophy packed into those words.

Democracy joins philosophy when it comes time to consider human nature; the content (if any) of human nature is very much a philosophical question. Is it feasible to expect each person to govern themselves? In general, can people perceive accurately and think rationally?

The expectation that people be reasonable assumes their ability to be so. Being reasonable might seem as natural and noncontroversial as breathing, but the term “reasonable” packs a lot of power. When society expects reasonableness, its underlying assumption is that people can perceive accurately, think orderly, and choose prudently.

Not every society has been willing to recognize such abilities in individual people. To the extent that society assumes that people are not able to competently make their own choices, then to that extent society will remove decisions from the individual and transfer them elsewhere (a committee, a monarch). To the extent that society assumes most people can ably make a choice, society will move decision-making power to the individual’s end of the spectrum.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There is a lot of philosophy packed into those words.

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source | link

Democracy joins philosophy when it comes time to consider human nature, and so to consider whether democracy is feasible at all. Is it possible for each person to govern themselves? In general, can people perceive accurately and think rationally? To the extent that people cannot do so, then to that extent society must be ruled by a monarch.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There is a lot of philosophy packed into those words.