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Paul Thagard

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190678722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190678722.001.0001

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(p.137) 6 Politics

Paul Thagard

Oxford University Press

Ideologies are coherent systems of concepts, values, and other representations that operate in a group of people to justify the current situation or to motivate change. These sets of values spread among individuals as the result of interactions that typically involve both verbal and nonverbal communication. Ideologies spread through talking and writing but also through nonverbal expressions such as visual and auditory images, gestures, facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. Ideologies such as the Islamic State worldview can be analyzed by identifying the main cognitive-emotional representations. The mental processes of individual leaders and voters use concepts, images, beliefs, rules, goals, and analogies. All of these representations have important emotional aspects, as when concepts are bound with emotions to produce values and when beliefs are bound into specific emotions such as fear, all producing semantic pointers.

Keywords:   anarchism, emotion, ideology, Islamic State, Nazi, political mechanism, power, Rwanda massacre, value

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