Contra Moore: The dependency of identity on culture

Abstract
In her article, ?Beyond the Cultural Argument for Liberal Nationalism?, Margaret Moore provides a critique of this argument, and commends, as an alternative, an identity?based approach to liberal nationalism. Moore draws a distinction between identity and culture, and suggests that liberal nationalism should be founded on the former rather than the latter. This article argues, by contrast, that although identity and culture need to be distinguished, they are not as dissociable as Moore contends. It argues that the distinction between identity and culture is of a kind resembling that between types and tokens ? between abstractions and their instances. In so far as culture and language are tangible means by which we express our identity, then identity can be viewed as a type, which cultural components ? like language ? can instantiate as tokens. A defence of liberal nationalism, even if its starting point is identity, has to incorporate in its main argument an appeal to culture and language to make a case for the right to self?determination of peoples.
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