Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar

Academics

FYS Section A25. On Democracy

Democracy is a condition of the truly human life. It is, we are told, the best political system that human beings have ever tried. Why should we believe in these statements? What is democracy?, we might ask. What are the theoretical and ethical justifications for a democratic way of life? Can we expect the emergence and endurance of democracy against any social background? What is the relationship between democracy and economic prosperity? Seeking answers to this set of questions, we will inquire into the nature of ideals such as tolerance and freedom of expression, and study such concepts as citizenship, totalitarianism and revolution. This intellectual journey will better prepare us for critical examination of our collective life. After all, as Socrates says, “The unexamined life is not worth living!”

Alireza ShomaliAlireza Shomali
Associate Professor of Political Science