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The Ethics of Patriotism: A Debate

ISBN: 978-0-470-65885-7
200 pages
February 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
The Ethics of Patriotism: A Debate (0470658851) cover image


The unique approach taken within The Ethics of Patriotism brings together the differing perspectives of three leading figures in the philosophical debate who deliver an up-to-date, accessible, and vigorous presentation of the major views and arguments.
  • Brings together the differing perspectives of three leading philosophers, who, together, explore the major positions on the ethics of patriotism
  • Connects with several burgeoning fields of interest in philosophy and politics, including nationalism, civic virtue, liberalism and republicanism, loyalty, and cosmopolitanism
  • Demonstrates that it is possible to make progress on the question of the ethics of patriotism while taking an ecumenical approach to larger theoretical questions
  • A timely and relevant response to the upsurge of interest in nationalism, patriotism, and secessions
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 1

Part One Three Views on the Ethics of Patriotism 17

1 The Virtue in Patriotism 19
John Kleinig

2 The Case against Patriotism 48
Simon Keller

3 Patriotism: A Two-Tier Account 73
Igor Primoratz

Part Two Responses 105

4 Making Good on Patriotism: Response to Keller and Primoratz 107
John Kleinig

5 Virtue for the Unpatriotic: Response to Kleinig and Primoratz 123
Simon Keller

6 Keeping to the Middle Ground: Response to Keller and Kleinig 138
Igor Primoratz

Part Three Final Words 153

7 Final Words 155
John Kleinig

8 Final Words 163
Simon Keller

9 Final Words 172
Igor Primoratz

Bibliography 178

Index 185

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Author Information

John Kleinig is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center, CUNY, and Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra. He is the author of, amongst others, Valuing Life (1991), The Ethics of Policing (1996), and Ethics and Criminal Justice (2008).

Simon Keller is Professor of Philosophy at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. He is the author of The Limits of Loyalty (2007), which won the 2009 American Philosophical Association Book Prize, and Partiality (2013).

Igor Primoratz is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra. He is the author of Banquos Geist: Hegels Theorie der Strafe (1986), Justifying Legal Punishment (1989, 1997),Ethics and Sex (1999), and Terrorism: A Philosophical Investigation (2013). He is also editor of a number of books, including Patriotism (2002) and Patriotism: Philosophical and Political Perspectives (with Aleksandar Pavkovic, 2007).

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“This is an excellent book, perhaps the best philosophical work that exists on patriotism. Each of the three authors is an accomplished philosopher, each has a distinctive perspective, and each presents and defends his views clearly and effectively…. The discussion will both encourage and assist readers to reach their own conclusions about whether patriotism should be strongly supported or decisively rejected.”—Stephen Nathanson, , Northeastern University, author of Patriotism, Morality and Peace
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