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Intricacies of Patriotism

Towards a Complexity of Patriotic Allegiance

Edited By Maciej Hułas and Stanisław Fel

Intricacies of Patriotism presents a selection of concepts of patria along with their corresponding forms of patriotism. The various contributions represent different backgrounds and draw a picture of patria as a universal value that is indispensible to one’s sense of self-awareness, and the identity of groups. The different understandings of patria in this collection are examples of employing patriotism to advance the identity of the group, or the individuals within it. While eulogists of cosmopolitanism tend to portray patriotism as anachronistic and irreconcilable with the «man-of-the-world-style», the notion of patria seems to be motivated by a deep concern to preserve patriotic feelings in an undistorted fashion, and to preserve them as a value of utmost importance.
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Is Cosmopolitan Anti-Patriotism a Virtue?


Although critics of patriotism have convincingly argued that extreme forms of patriotism should be rejected, their arguments do not show that every form of patriotism is morally unacceptable. In Patriotism, Morality and Peace, I defended a political attitude that I call moderate patriotism1. My view is that moderate patriotism is not damaged by standard criticisms of patriotism. Although moderate patriotism is not morally obligatory, it differs from extreme patriotism in that it is both morally permissible and worthy of support.

In this paper, I re-defend moderate patriotism. Since many critics of patriotism have cosmopolitanism sympathies, I ask whether cosmopolitan anti-patriotism is a virtue as a reminder that the need for justification and defense does not fall on patriotism alone. If cosmopolitan anti-patriotism is to be a virtue, it must be the case 1) that patriotism is so bad that opposing it is virtuous and 2) that cosmopolitanism is so valuable that supporting it is virtuous. If only the first condition is met, then it may be that neither patriotism nor cosmopolitanism is a virtue. If only the second is met, then perhaps both patriotism and cosmopolitanism can be virtues.

I defend the second possibility by arguing that there are different versions of both patriotism and cosmopolitanism, that some versions of each are morally unacceptable, and that some versions of each can virtues. Finally, I will argue that, in spite of their differences, moderate patriotism and cosmopolitanism converge in important ways and can both support...

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