The Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and Today by Michael L. FrazerThe Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and Today by Michael L. Frazer

The Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and Today

byMichael L. Frazer

Paperback | July 4, 2012

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Enlightenment thinkers of the eighteenth century were committed to the ideal of reflective autonomy - the principle that each of us should think for ourselves, particularly when determining moral and political standards. In keeping with that era's reputation as "the age of reason," manyinterpreted autonomy in a distinctively rationalist way - privileging reflective reason over all other mental faculties. However, other leading philosophers of the era - such as David Hume, Adam Smith, and J.G. Herder - placed greater emphasis on feeling, seeing moral and political reflection as the proper work of the mind as a whole. They argued that without emotion, imagination, and sympathy we would be incapable ofdeveloping the moral sentiments that form the basis of our commitment to justice and virtue. The Enlightenment of Sympathy reclaims the sentimentalist theory of reflective autonomy as a resource for enriching social science, normative theory, and political practice today. The sentimentalist description of the reflective process is more empirically accurate than the competing rationalistdescription, and can guide scientists investigating the processes by which the mind formulates moral and political principles. Yet the theory is much more than merely descriptive, and can also contribute to the philosophical project of finding principles - including principles of justice - that wield genuine normative authority. Enlightenment sentimentalism demonstrates that emotion is necessarily central to our civic life,and shows how our reflective sentiments can counterbalance the unreflective feelings that might otherwise lead our political principles astray.
Michael L. Frazer is an Assistant Professor of Government and Social Studies at Harvard University. His research focuses on Enlightenment political philosophy and its relevance for contemporary political theory. Professor Frazer has also published articles on Maimonides, Nietzsche, John Rawls and Leo Strauss in such journals as Politic...
Title:The Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and TodayFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:July 4, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199920230

ISBN - 13:9780199920235

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsIntroduction: A Tale of Two Enlightenments1. Sentimentalism Before HumeI. The New Science of Human NatureII. Religious and Metaphysical FoundationsIII. Theories of Justice2. Hume's Free-Standing SentimentalismI. Sympathy and the Moral SentimentsII. Moral DevelopmentIII. Hume's Normative Theory3. Hume's Conservative SentimentalismI. Hume's Theory of JusticeII. The Sentimentalist Case Against Hume's Theory4. Adam Smith's Liberal SentimentalismI. The Alleged Incompatibility of Sentimentalism with IndividualismII. The Space Between Actor and Spectator: Sympathy and Moral JudgmentIII. The Space Between Actors: Justice and Natural Jurisprudence5. Kant's Abandonment of SentimentalismI. The Critical-Period Position on the Foundations of MoralsII. The Critical-Period Normative Evaluation of SympathyIII. The Critical-Period Theory of Affects and PassionsIV. A Contrasting Pre-Critical Position6. Herder's Pluralist SentimentalismI. Sentimentalism and the Problem of DiversityII. From Sympathy to DiversityIII. From Diversity to Empathetic UnderstandingIV. From Empathetic Understanding to Justice7. Sentimentalism TodayI. Sentimentalism and Social ScienceII. Sentimentalism and Normative TheoryIII. Sentimentalism and Political PracticeBibliography