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Passions and EmotionsNOMOS LIII$
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James E. Fleming

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814760147

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814760147.001.0001

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Reason, Passion, and Democratic Politics

Reason, Passion, and Democratic Politics

Old Conceptions—New Understandings—New Possibilities

(p.127) 5 Reason, Passion, and Democratic Politics
Passions and Emotions

George E. Marcus

NYU Press

This chapter examines democratic politics. Humans are social creatures reliant on both emotionality and reasoning. As a consequence, these qualities and how people understand them are central to the empirical question of how democracy works and to the normative questions of how well it works. Democracy flourishes when lots of people participate. That is so because maximizing participation ensures that more interests will be brought forth; however they are resolved, the larger the public involvement, the greater the likelihood that, all things being equal, the outcome will be widely accepted as legitimate. Democracy also offers a sovereign arena within which the public can examine and address claims of injustices that often arise within the many hierarchies that they inhabit. Moreover, deliberation is an essential feature of any politics that seeks both to formulate the public interest and to secure legitimacy.

Keywords:   democratic politics, democracy, participation, public involvement, sovereignty, equality, deliberation, public interest, legitimacy

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