"Like the Leaves of Sybil:
Burke & Tocqueville on Tradition in the Democratic Age"
October 9 at 5:00pm
Johns Hall 101
The Tocqueville Program at Furman University exists to
encourage serious and open engagement with the moral questions at the heart of
political life. The program takes its
name from Alexis de Tocqueville, perhaps the greatest student of modern
democracy, who understood both the difficulty and the necessity of reminding
citizens of a decent and prosperous regime about questions of truth, nobility
and eternity. These questions are not always comfortable to discuss and are
never easily resolved; as Tocqueville understood, however, these questions
cannot be ignored by human beings who seek to live lives of freedom and
Each year, Furman’s Tocqueville Program offers a broad range
of curricular and extracurricular activities:
* A lecture series that brings to Furman’s campus prominent
scholars and public intellectuals who exemplify the Tocquevillean approach to
* An upper-level course, aligned with the lecture series, which situates an
in-depth study of a contemporary issue within the tradition of political
philosophy, and which offers students the chance to engage in class with
scholars and intellectuals currently grappling with these problems.
* The opportunity to apply for the Society of Tocqueville
Fellows, an association that cultivates students’ interest in political
philosophy by guiding them thorough a coherent set of courses and a specially
designed colloquium series. Fellows are
supported with a modest scholarship-stipend.
* A Political Thought Club that meets one afternoon per week
to discuss works of political philosophy not usually found in our courses (past
readings have included works by Edmund Burke, Charles Darwin, Hans Jonas,
Blaise Pascal, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Martin Heidegger).