Pro patria : An essay on patriotism

Journal of Ethics 13 (4):319 - 346 (2009)
This essay focuses on what patriotism is, as opposed to the value of patriotism. It focuses further on the basic patriotic motive : one acts with this motive if one acts on behalf of one’s country as such. I first argue that pre-theoretically the basic patriotic motive is sufficient to make an act patriotic from a motivational point of view. In particular the agent need not ascribe virtues or achievements to his country nor need he feel towards it the emotions characteristic of love. Why should one ever act on behalf of one’s country as such, if one does not particularly admire it or feel a special affection for it? In answer to this question I offer a further articulation of the basic patriotic motive, invoking a particular understanding of what it is to be the member of a political society. Building on this articulation I then consider how one might characterize a patriotic act, a patriotic person, and the relationship of patriotism and pride.
Keywords Country  Joint commitment  Love  Patriot  Patriotic motive  Political institutions  Political society  Pride
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DOI 10.2307/25656265
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H. L. A. Hart (1955). Are There Any Natural Rights? Philosophical Review 64 (2):175-191.

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