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The Political Theory of Political ThinkingThe Anatomy of a Practice$
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Michael Freeden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568031

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568031.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 September 2021

Language, Emotion, and Political Thought

Language, Emotion, and Political Thought

(p.67) 2 Language, Emotion, and Political Thought
The Political Theory of Political Thinking

Michael Freeden

Oxford University Press

Political thinking is conveyed through and expressed as language, and it is therefore subject to the constraints that operate on language. Some central constraints are ambiguity, indeterminacy, and vagueness, and they are supplemented by a constriction on the nature of argumentation—inconclusiveness, when it is impossible to apply a general rule to the myriad different circumstances of individual life. The second part of the chapter examines the role of emotion in thinking politically, arguing that reason and emotion are not mutually exclusive and that too much political philosophy downplays the significance of emotion. Emotions are central to the expression of political ideas and omnipresent in speech, but the analytical vocabulary at the disposal of political theorists undeveloped in factoring emotions in, as well as being cut off from the additional emotional registers that accompany speech—inflection, intonation, emphasis, or voice level

Keywords:   language, ambiguity, indeterminacy, vagueness, inconclusiveness, reason, emotion

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