Frederick Douglass’s Patriotism

The Journal of Ethics 13 (4):301-317 (2009)
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Although Frederick Douglass disclaimed any patriotism or love of the United States in the years when he considered its constitution to be pro-slavery, I argue that he was in fact always a patriot and always a lover of his country. This conclusion leads me to argue further that patriotism is not as expressly political as many philosophers suppose. Patriots love their country despite its politics and often unreasonably, although in loving their country they are concerned with its politics. The greatest among them freely dedicate themselves selflessly to the improvement of their country, partly because they love it, and partly because they are moved to take on great projects.



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Bernard Boxill
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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Introduction.Igor Primoratz - 2009 - The Journal of Ethics 13 (4):293-299.

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