In his seminal lecture “Is Patriotism a Virtue?” Alasdair MacIntyre contrasts patriotism with the liberal commitment to certain universal values. He notes that Alasdair MacIntyre has given a defense of patriotism: MacIntyre’s argument (in his Lindley Lecture, “Is Patriotism a Virtue?. the nature of a more sophisticated patriotism comes from Scottish philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, in an essay titled “Is Patriotism a Virtue?”.

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What is the case for the claim that moderate patriotism is morally mandatory — that we have a duty of special concern for the well-being of our country and compatriots, similar to special duties to family or friends?

Discussions of both patriotism and nationalism are often marred by lack of clarity due to the failure to distinguish the two. Wait what does that even have to do with anything I wrote? James Gaffney – – Philosophy and Theology 8 2: This leads MacIntyre to conclude that patriotism is not to be contrasted with morality; it is rather a central moral virtue, indeed the bedrock of morality.

Special duties mediate our fundamental, universal duties and make possible their most effective discharge. As for the accusation of particularism: Thus, we have relationships with those around us — with our families and the communities we live in.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Howard Young marked it as to-read Jul 07, Compatriots take priority because we owe it to them as a matter of reciprocity.

Will Landry added it Nov 25, alazdair Only the last group — surely a tiny minority — would be a proper object of our gratitude. Science Logic and Mathematics. Jonathan rated it really liked it Apr 15, We lastly found however, that the being of organic matter, is merely a necessary result of there being matter in general.

So the question then becomes whether being American, Norwegian, or belonging to any other sort of group or practice, is ultimately good for us or bad when measured against ends defined by our humanity. How nacintyre it related to similar attitudes, such as nationalism? Feser is the go to man on telos, but not so much on science.


Bad faith is bad; so is patriotism, as well as every identity, individual or collective, constituted, in part, by patriotic loyalty. If you do think your values, for example those of western liberal democracy, are the best at hand despite their flaws, feelings of universalized sympathy towards others might lead you to want to spread those values.

In view of the disastrous record of national socialism, it is not surprising that German thinkers in particular should be suspicious of patriotism as long as it has not been dissociated from nationalism. Macityre for ranting and raving but, like I said, I find it a little disturbing. We all have various preferences for virue and people, tend to identify with many groups, large and small, to think of them as in some sense ours, and to show a degree of special concern for their members.

Both Socrates and Viroli are exaggerating the benefits bestowed on us by our country; surely any gratitude owed for being born or brought up is owed to parents, rather than patria.

Is Patriotism A Virtue

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. A revised version is reprinted in Igor Primoratz ed.

Donald Forster marked it as to-read Sep 03, Unless a new, more convincing case for patriotism can be made, we have no good reason to think that patriotism is a moral duty. Patriotism is not but another extension of the duty of concern for others; it is a special concern for my country because it is my country, for my compatriots because they are my compatriots.

Aravind Raamkumar marked it as to-read Jan 31, There maxintyre also no reason though that your being alive, is any more necessary than your being of organic matter, and here we can see that making ethical appeals to conventionally decided upon universals quickly breaks down.

MacIntyre and the Morality of Patriotism

Patriotism in Social and Political Philosophy. And further problem is that political practices based on universalized human nature can lead to supremacist imperialism every bit as oppressive as parochial jingoism. But her patriotism would be expressed, above all, in a critical approach to her country and compatriots: This kind of conflict is at the heart of an Aristotelian account of morality: As Richard Dagger puts it:.


I think it is right and true to say that on an Aristotelian account the groups we belong to can require our devotion, and that they shape us, but for both Aristotle and Schmitt political association is qualitatively different from, say, the chess league. If someone were to deny that she has a duty of special concern for the well-being of her country and compatriots, beyond what the laws of her country mandate and beyond the concern she has for humans and humanity, would she thereby cease to be a citizen in the sense involving equal standing?

Yale University Press, Reprinted with a postscript in Primoratz ed. Moreover, gratitude is appropriate only for a benefit conferred freely, as a gift, and not as a quid pro quo.

Alasdair MacIntyre, Is patriotism a virtue? – PhilPapers

Patriotism involves special concern for the patria and compatriots, a concern that goes beyond what the laws alasdsir one to do, beyond what one does as a citizen; that is, beyond what one ought, in fairnessto do. Hulas, Maciej, and Stanislaw Fel eds. As such it does not privilege the Nation State, and certainly could not be used to justify the extreme Nationalism that one sees. They also consider patriotism an important component of our identity. What, then, is the moral status of patriotism?

Therefore the definition needs to include such concern. vigtue

When these are exhibited in a reasonable degree and without ill thoughts about others and hostile actions towards them, that is patriotism; when they become unbridled and cause one to think ill of others and act badly towards them, that is nationalism.

Likewise with the serial killer who has ceased to be human. But however egocentric, irrational, asinine, surely it qualifies as patriotism.