'Passions and constraint': The marginalization of passion in liberal political theory

Philosophy and Social Criticism 28 (6):727-748 (2002)

Positive arguments on behalf of passion are scarce in liberal political theory. Rather, liberal theorists tend to push passion to the margins of their theories of politics, either by ignoring it or by explicitly arguing that passion poses a danger to politics and is best kept out of the public realm. The purpose of this essay is to criticize these marginalizations and to illustrate their roots in impoverished conceptions of passion. Using a richer conception of passion as the desire for an envisioned good, I argue that it is neither possible nor desirable to eliminate passion from politics. Passion should therefore be established as a central category of analysis in political theory alongside other key concerns. Key Words: passion • reason • politics • liberalism • eros.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/019145370202800607
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,238
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On Nationality.David Miller - 2001 - Mind 110 (438):512-516.
Political Liberalism.Stephen Mulhall - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (177):542-545.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Languages of Political Support: Engaging with the Public Realm.Michael Freeden - 2009 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 12 (2):183-202.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
57 ( #154,363 of 2,285,775 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #158,030 of 2,285,775 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature