About the Department

Michael L. Frazer

Michael L. Frazer

Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies
Political Theory

 Michael L. Frazer's research focuses on canonical political philosophy and its relevance for contemporary political theory. After receiving his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Princeton University, Professor Frazer spent the 2006-7 academic year as a postdoctoral research associate in the Political Theory Project at Brown University. Professor Frazer's book The Enlightenment of Sympathy is now available from Oxford University Press. It argues that, while Enlightenment rationalists such as Immanuel Kant separated reflective reason from the unreflective mental faculties that must obey its commands, their sentimentalist contemporaries such as David Hume, Adam Smith and J. G. Herder did not. Instead, they saw moral and political reflection as the proper work of the mind as a whole. Without emotion, imagination and the imaginative sharing of emotion then known as "sympathy," we would be incapable of developing the reflectively-refined moral sentiments which are the basis of our commitment to justice and virtue. The Enlightenment of Sympathy reclaims the sentimentalist theory of reflection as a resource for enriching social science, normative theory and political practice today. Professor Frazer has also published articles in such journals as Political Theory, The Journal of Political Philosophy, Intellectual History Review,  and The Review of Politics. Electronic versions of many of his papers can be found at http://harvard.academia.edu/MichaelFrazer,

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1737 Cambridge St, CGIS Knafel Building 420, Cambridge MA 02138

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Social Studies 10a/b: Introduction to Social StudiesGov 1072: Moral Issues in Contemporary Politics



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