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Authors. Alasdair MacIntyre. University of Notre Dame. Follow. Abstract. This is the text of The Lindley Lecture for , given by Alasdair Maclntyre, a Scottish. the nature of a more sophisticated patriotism comes from Scottish philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, in an essay titled “Is Patriotism a Virtue?”. Patriotism raises questions of the sort philosophers characteristically discuss: How is patriotism to be defined? How is it related to similar.

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MacIntyre – Is Patriotism a Virtue?

One might find fault with the step from communitarianism to patriotism: I also belong to a certain family, profession, nation, and numerous other groups and activities. If patriotism is neither a moral duty nor a supererogatory virtue, then all its moral pretensions have been deflated.

That is the view of patriotism as an associative duty see the entry on special obligationssection 4.

But there is no single reason common to all or even most of them. They merely happen to be the beneficiaries of the most effective way of putting into practice our concern for human beings in general.

Sorry for ranting and raving but, like I said, I find it a little disturbing. Your summary lends itself to a nature vs nurture provocation. Not every group is good for me. MasonMason goes on to claim: About The Partially Examined Life The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy podcast by some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living but then thought better of it. That has led political theorists to look for alternatives.

And these attitudes can and do quite easily turn ugly and hateful and warlike. Notify me of new posts by email. And of course, most cases are as extreme as this: In what is still the sole book-length philosophical study of the subject, Stephen Nathanson34—35 defines patriotism as involving:. Gratitude is probably the most popular among the grounds adduced for patriotic duty.

A good example is provided by the Ten Commandments, a major document of Western morality. A revised version is reprinted in Igor Primoratz ed. Open access to the SEP is made possible by a world-wide funding initiative. It is the second that is at issue. We owe our country our life, our education, our language, and, in the most fortunate cases, our liberty. Bernard Bosanquet – – Freeport, N. Actually, this is how we think of our special obligations to, and preferences for, our family, friends, or local community; this kind of partiality is legitimate, and indeed valuable, not only for us but for anyone.


All four types of patriotism reviewed so far seek to defend and promote what might be termed the worldly, i.

Ultimately, I have to revert to my membership in some core natural kind — the human kind — to judge the appropriateness of the effects that practices and groups have on me. I think most people who reflect may take at some point in their life a stance of philosophic indifference or neutrality but they themselves are grounded by institutions.

The Lindley LectureLawrence: And this leads us back to a conception of morality which, while still Aristotelian, seems consistent with the kind of enlightenment moral standpoint — a universal one — that MacIntyre has used Aristotle to argue against. But however important in other respects these preferences, identifications, and concerns might be, they lack positive moral import. Another aspect of the Aristotelian ethics is that virtue lies in the middle.

We can distinguish five types of patriotism, and each needs to be judged on its merits. History of Western Philosophy. Find it on Scholar. Ethical commitments should be to emancipation for every person in the world unconditionally, as long as we are willing to admit we could have also been born in to any existing form of human subjugation, and with much larger odds than being born in to some decaying American suburb.

Therefore, if I do not understand the enacted narrative of my own individual life as embedded in the history of my country … I will not understand what I owe to others or what others owe to me, for what crimes of my nation I am bound to make reparation, for what benefits to my nation I am bound to feel gratitude.

But in accepting benefits from his association with the wrongdoers, he may be seen as underwriting those wrongs and joining the class of those properly blamed. Martin Hughes – – Cogito 3 2: However, both Baron and Nathanson fail to distinguish clearly between showing that their preferred type of patriotism is morally unobjectionable and showing that it is morally required or virtuous, and sometimes seem to be assuming that by showing the former, they are also showing the latter. We also speak of gratitude to large and impersonal entities — our school, profession, or even our country — but that seems to be an abbreviated way of referring to gratitude to particular persons who have acted on behalf of these entities.

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Largely in response to MacIntyre, some philosophers have defended constrained or deflated versions of patriotism BaronNathansonPrimoratz Billig, Michael,Banal NationalismLondon: Of course, one could give an Aristotelian response to this Aristotelian defense of patriotism: This is not a fair objection to patriotism as such.

As a rule, when someone is wronged, someone else benefits from that. If justice is understood in universal, rather than parochial terms, if common human solidarity counts as a weighty moral consideration, and if peace is of paramount importance and war is morally permissible only when it is just, then this kind of patriotism must be rejected.

It is based on an understanding of special relationships as intrinsically valuable and involving duties of special concern for the well-being of those we are related to.

The group to which our primary loyalty would be owed would be the group from which we had obtained our moral understanding. Patriotism in Social and Political Philosophy categorize this paper. She will also expect it to live up to certain standards and thereby deserve her support, devotion, and special concern for its well-being.

virgue He would work for a just and humane society at home, and seek to ensure that the country acts justly beyond its borders, and shows common human solidarity towards those in need, however distant and unfamiliar.

The first of these two special duties can be put aside, as it is not specific to patriotism, but rather pertains to citizenship.


There is little to cavil about here. There is now a lively philosophical debate about the moral credentials of patriotism that shows no signs of abating. We lastly found however, that the being of organic matter, is merely a necessary result of there being matter in general.

The kind of patriotism defended by Nathanson and Baron is moderate in several distinct, but related respects. This new, emphatically patrootism version of patriotism has been met with both sympathy and skepticism.