Populism, Liberalism and the Eclipse of Emotion

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1 Scopus citations


I argue that the way philosophy conceives of the political subject fails to understand the populist subject. In Section I, I shall sketch an ambiguity in how Hobbes conceives of the political subject as both driven by the passions and yet capable of rationally subduing them. In Section II, I argue that these two different conceptions of the will lead to different models of political representation. In Section III, I offer an sketch of some of the ways the Hobbesian picture of the mind as fueled by the passions has been eschewed by modern liberal philosophy. Finally, in Section IV, I offer an account of two features of populism which seem to me to suggest that the Humean model of the will is appropriate to understand certain essential features of populist politics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-171
Number of pages26
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Copyright 2021 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • Emotion
  • Hobbes
  • Liberalism
  • Moral psychology
  • Passions
  • Populism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science


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