Edmund Burke’s Politics of Sympathy: Tolerance and Solidarity for India

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The article focuses on Burke’s engagement with India and the Impeachment of Warren Hastings. It attempts to trace the way in which Burke, in his rhetoric on India, uses the sentimentalist vocabulary of the Scottish Enlightenment and, more particularly, the concept of sympathy. Burke, it is suggested, passes from a Humean to a Smithian understanding of sympathy, giving however, at every stage of this development, his own turn and character to the concept. Overall, Burke’s writings on India reveal quite advanced for his time political reflexes and oblige us to reconsider the stereotypic image of Burke as an icon of conservatism.
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Archival date: 2020-03-23
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