GSE Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

March 2007

Abstract

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.

Comments

Postprint version. Published in Theory and Research in Education, Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2007, pages 41-59.
Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1477878507073608

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Date Posted: 13 May 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.