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The Enlightenment of SympathyJustice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and Today$
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Michael L. Frazer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390667

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390667.001.0001

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Herder’s Pluralist Sentimentalism

Herder’s Pluralist Sentimentalism

(p.139) Chapter 6 Herder’s Pluralist Sentimentalism
The Enlightenment of Sympathy

Michael L. Frazer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

While rationalist reflection can derive a single set of authoritative standards from a universal faculty of reason, sentimentalism must assume an implausible degree of uniformity among the contingent psychological features of human beings to do the same. Another sentimentalist alternative, however, is to accept rather than reject the pluralism of human standards, while still insisting that plural sets of standards can join in a single overlapping consensus behind basic principles of justice and reciprocity. This chapter argues that exactly such a pluralist sentimentalism can be found in the work of J. G. Herder, a student of the pre-critical, sentimentalist Kant and a vociferous opponent of the critical, rationalist Kant.

Keywords:   Johann Gottfried von Herder, Isaiah Berlin, pluralism, multiculturalism, diversity, empathy, reciprocity, reasonableness, justice, overlapping consensus

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