Politics and Emotions

Joshua Hordern

in Political Affections

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646814
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744181 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theological Ethics

Politics and Emotions

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Chapter 1 examines the democratic deficit in Europe today and, via discussion of constitutional patriotism, the wisdom of sublimating national identity to a post-national consciousness. To do so, it considers both popular and theoretical uncertainty about the role of emotions in politics, describing the turn to cognitivist theories of emotion in the late twentieth century and exploring both the reasons for the turn and the rationalist and empiricist dualisms which have preceded it. The chapter considers the neo-Stoic, cognitivist political theory of Martha Nussbaum in depth, focussing on her account of compassion as the paradigmatic political emotion in an uncontrolled world. It argues that the role of joy in political life is significantly underplayed by Nussbaum, that her indexing of compassion to the judiciary's wisdom is not a secure basis for a compassionate society and that her account of compassion itself may not have sufficient traction to evoke widespread support.

Keywords: theories of emotion; cognitivism; rationalism; empiricism; compassion; joy; judiciary; Martha Nussbaum

Chapter.  17460 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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