Roger D. Masters

Roger D. Masters is Research Professor at Dartmouth College and Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government Emeritus at Dartmouth College. After undergraduate study at Harvard (1955) and service in the Army, Masters completed graduate work in political philosophy at the University of Chicago, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Rousseau under the direction of Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey. 

The central theme of Masters’ work is the philosophic and scientific exploration of the role of human nature in political and social behavior. In political philosophy, his studies have emphasized Rousseau and Machiavelli and the implications of contemporary biology for understanding human nature. Recently, his research has focused on cognitive neuroscience, the nonverbal behavior of leaders, and the effects of toxic metals (such as lead and manganese) on human behavior. He is President of the Foundation for Neuroscience and Society, and serves on the editorial board of Evolutionary Psychology

His publications include The Collected Writings of Rousseau, edited with Christopher Kelly, 12 vols. (University Press of New England, 1990-2007), Fortune is a River: Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli’s Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), The Nature of Politics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), and The Political Philosophy of Rousseau (Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1968). Also available in French, as La philosophie politique de rousseau (Lyon: ENS Editions, 2002).