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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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Sentimentalism Today

Sentimentalism Today

(p.168) Chapter 7 Sentimentalism Today
The Enlightenment of Sympathy

Michael L. Frazer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores potential implications of eighteenth-century sentimentalism for both academic research and public policy in the twenty-first century. It begins with the many potential contributions Enlightenment sentimentalism could make to today’s empirical social science, in disciplines from neuroscience to behavioral economics to descriptive moral and political psychology. It then goes on to explore sentimentalism’s potential contribution to normative moral and political philosophy, with a focus on the distinctive sentimentalist position on the proper relationship between facts and values, and hence between empirical science and normative theory. The chapter concludes by pointing out that, in addition to being of considerable academic interest, sentimentalist theory could also help improve political practice in matters including democratic deliberation and civic education.

Keywords:   empathy, neuroscience, mirror neurons, psychology, political science, behavioral economics, experimental philosophy, X-Phi, democratic deliberation, civic education

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