OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

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

ISBN : 9780195390667

Price(incl.tax): 
¥14,476
Author: 
Michael L. Frazer
Pages
248 Pages
Format
Hardcover
Size
161 x 242 mm
Pub date
Aug 2010
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The Enlightenment is commonly referred to as 'The Age of Reason.' The term signifies the triumph of rationalism over emotionalism and sentiment in the late eighteenth century. Rationalists, the most famous of whom was Kant, posited a mind that was hierarchically arranged, with reason sitting atop of the passions. Yet as Michael Frazer argues, there were in fact two enlightenments-the sentimentalist enlightenment and the rationalist one-and the Enlightenment of Sympathy reclaims the importance of the former. As he explains, enlightened sentimentalism encompassed more than 'mere feeling' (as its critics claimed) and in fact harnessed the human mind in full to offer a positive account of the sentiments' centrality to moral and political reflection. Rather than treating the mind as a hierarchy, sentimentalists offered a more egalitarian theory of it. The mind, in their view, was integrated, and its various compartments were equals. Many of the most famous Enlightenment thinkers can rightly be called sentimentalists-Hume, Smith, and Herder, to name a few-yet the rationalist vision of politics has proven to be more influential. In fact, the most important political philosopher of liberalism of the past half century, John Rawls, relied on the rationalist enlightenment for his most important work. By reclaiming this equally important strand of enlightenment thought, Frazer not only offers a corrective to the dominant narrative of the Enlightenment political thought. His argument will also enrich contemporary political theory by integrating a more behaviorally-oriented and psychologically complex account of the mind into the corpus of liberal philosophy.

Index: 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
INTRODUCTION: A TALE OF TWO ENLIGHTENMENTS
1. Sentimentalism Before Hume
I. THE NEW SCIENCE OF HUMAN NATURE
II. RELIGIOUS AND METAPHYSICAL FOUNDATIONS
III. THEORIES OF JUSTICE
2. Hume's Free-Standing Sentimentalism
I. SYMPATHY AND THE MORAL SENTIMENTS
II. MORAL DEVELOPMENT
III. HUME'S NORMATIVE THEORY
3. Hume's Conservative Sentimentalism
I. HUME'S THEORY OF JUSTICE
II. THE SENTIMENTALIST CASE AGAINST HUME'S THEORY
4. Adam Smith's Liberal Sentimentalism
I. THE ALLEGED INCOMPATIBILITY OF SENTIMENTALISM WITH INDIVIDUALISM
II. THE SPACE BETWEEN ACTOR AND SPECTATOR: SYMPATHY AND MORAL JUDGMENT
III. THE SPACE BETWEEN ACTORS: JUSTICE AND NATURAL JURISPRUDENCE
5. Kant's Abandonment of Sentimentalism
I. THE CRITICAL-PERIOD POSITION ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF MORALS
II. THE CRITICAL-PERIOD NORMATIVE EVALUATION OF SYMPATHY
III. THE CRITICAL-PERIOD THEORY OF AFFECTS AND PASSIONS
IV. A CONTRASTING PRE-CRITICAL POSITION
6. Herder's Pluralist Sentimentalism
I. SENTIMENTALISM AND THE PROBLEM OF DIVERSITY
II. FROM SYMPATHY TO DIVERSITY
III. FROM DIVERSITY TO EMPATHETIC UNDERSTANDING
IV. FROM EMPATHETIC UNDERSTANDING TO JUSTICE
7. Sentimentalism Today
I. SENTIMENTALISM AND SOCIAL SCIENCE
II. SENTIMENTALISM AND NORMATIVE THEORY
III. SENTIMENTALISM AND POLITICAL PRACTICE
BIBLIOGRAPHY

About the author: 

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 Political Theory and The Review of Politics. Before arriving at Harvard, he studied at Yale and Princeton Universities, and received a postdoctoral appointment in the Political Theory Project at Brown University. He lives in Somerville, MA with his wife Coral and son Oren.

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