Against Patriotism and National Partiality

Living reference work entry


Commonsense, widespread moral opinion affirms patriotism as a moral requirement binding on all members of nation-states and national communities. This chapter argues against this consensus. The duty of patriotism for purposes of this discussion is understood as the moral duty of each person to be partial in promoting the national project of her own national community and in favoring specially the interests of conationals over those of outsiders. The chapter argues against the claim that there is any such duty by rebutting arguments offered to support this claim. The uncertain bearing of doctrines of cosmopolitanism on the case for these duties of patriotic partiality is briefly explored. The chapter ends by considering whether duties of patriotic/national partiality might find their place, justified by instrumental considerations, as subordinate elements in a multilevel moral system.


Nationalism Patriotism Cosmopolitanism Multi-level moral theory 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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