Tocqueville, a Providência e a História

Marcelo Gantus Jasmin

The article contends that for Tocqueville the notion of Providence was an important tool in dealing with problems he encountered both in explaining the emergence of democratic equality as a universal phenomenon and in defining possible lines of action for those who, like him, advocated a liberal solution to the challenges brought by modernity. Specifically, it is argued that the notion of Providence played three roles in the construction of Tocqueville’s arguments: a rhetorical role (convincing his peers that a return to the Old Regime was unfeasible); a cognitive role (lending meaning to the long-term process without reinforcing materialist views regarding either chance or the causality immanent to history); and an ethical-political role (determining the role of responsible human action within the contemporary world).

Tocqueville; historiography; Providence; history

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