In this book, the author attempts to explain the nature of human society and to provide a justification of the democratic system, often charged with favoring numerousness over quality. Starting from his previously published conception of the structure and functioning of human mind, Belfiore derives a set of democratic principles that allow to conceive society as the necessary result of the trend of human actions and moral acts toward universalization, and the democratic system (based on majority rule and universal suffrage) as the only one through which actions and moral acts can reach the best possible approach to universality. Since evolution toward universality is regarded as part of mind evolution, which in turn is conceived as the objective good, democratic society is given an objective ontological and moral foundation. Likewise, the author provides new insights and offer novel solutions for many issues concerned with the complex functioning of the democratic society, such as: the nature of political parties, the political positions known as right and left, the duality of the forces that drive political activity (egoism/right/freedom versus morality/duties/equality), the voting system, the justification of majority rule, the role of leaders and elected representatives, voters' preferences, political choices, the unity-distinction of the three powers of the State, and still others. Belfiore contrasts his views with those of other thinkers, who are extensively quoted. The result is an original and exhaustive text, which will be useful for a better understanding of the democratic society.
Francesco Belfiore was professor of internal medicine at the University of Catania, Italy. He worked in medical research and has published many articles and several monographs, including the extensive and acclaimed Enzyme Regulation and Metabolic Diseases (Karger, 1980). In recent years he has reawakened his long-standing interest in philosophy. Taking advantage of his research experience centered on human beings, he has conceived a complete and coherent philosophical system, outlined in his The Structure of the Mind (University Press of America, 2004). Subsequently, he has further developed the practical aspects of his philosophical system, which he has extensively expounded in the volume The Ontological Foundation of Ethics, Politics, and Law (University Press of America, 2007).
Figures Tables Preface Part I-Introduction: The Basic Concepts Chapter 1-The Human Person and Its Private Life Chapter 2-The Human Society Part II-Theories of Human Society: Critique and Reinterpretation. A Historical Perspective Chapter 3-The Conception of Human Society at the Time of Absolutism [Before the English Revolution (1688)] Chapter 4-The Conception of Human Society During the Cultural Struggle for Democracy (From 18th Century to World War II) Chapter 5-The Conception of Human Society from World War II to 1989: The Progressive Affirmation of Human Rights Chapter 6-Contemporary Human Society (after 1989) and Its Problems Part III-The Foundation and Functioning of the Democratic Society Chapter 7-The Foundation of Democracy: Majority Rule Chapter 8-The Functioning of Democracy Part IV-Political Activity in the Democratic Society Chapter 9-Political Parties, Party Systems, and the Voting Process Chapter 10-Problems of Contemporary Political Parties: New Right and New Left Chapter 11-Political Discussion and the Interpretation of Political Facts Part V-The Democratic Principles and the Recent World History Chapter 12-The Democratic Principles and the Recent World History Chapter 13-Possible Drawbacks of Existing Democracies Chapter 14-In Praise of Democracy Reference Index