Date of this Version
In this paper I argue for considering patriotism as a civic virtue, and in particular I defend the view that patriotism should be endorsed under certain conditions as a perspective suitable for teaching in public schools.
My argument begins with an exposé to the debate on patriotism as virtue between those who endorse it as a requisite of morality and those who reject it as an abomination. I defend a position which describes patriotism as a civic virtue rather than a primary moral virtue. ['why a virtue?']. Next I consider what it means to be a citizen in times of war, focusing on the changing conceptions and manifestations of patriotism under fire ['why a necessity?'] I proceed to suggest that the qualified notion of patriotism which I defend should affect the way public schools create citizens, particularly in times of war ['why in schools?']. By 'affect' I do not mean a wholehearted endorsement; rather I mean a sincere consideration, which starts from public schools' basic democratic commitments, but nonetheless acknowledges the moral realities of a society at war, among them the heightened sense of the love of country.
Date Posted: 13 May 2008
This document has been peer reviewed.