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Publisher: Palgrave
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects:
Until very recently Political Studies has largely ignored the role of the human passions. Understanding the difference between emotion and affect seems vital to this task, as without the latter emotion becomes cognitivised and over-civilised. In this article, we examine some of the contributions of psychoanalysis and continental philosophy to our understanding of affect. We examine the corporeal and ambivalent nature of affect, which provides the basis for what we call the vicissitudes of human feeling, that is, the way in which different feelings connect or disconnect from one another in complex, indeterminate and surprising ways. We use a detailed examination of the vicissitudes of grief and grievance as they contribute to ressentiment, a sentiment that is a particular characteristic of reactionary forms of populism. Passion can only ever be partly tamed and civilised and this is what provides politics with its excitements and terrors.
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