John Kleinig, Simon Keller, and Igor Primoratz, The Ethics of Patriotism: A Debate. Chichester, UK: John Wiley, 2015. ISBN 978-0-470-65885-7, £23.50, Pbk
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The authors of this clear and helpful book present three positions on patriotism: Simon Keller sees patriotism as a negative moral phenomenon; John Kleinig takes patriotism to be morally recommendable; and Igor Primoratz presents a middle position. Primoratz distinguishes between worldly patriotism (concerned with a country’s cultural vibrancy, the beauty of its natural scenery, its political power, etc.) and ethical patriotism (concerned with the country’s moral integrity and well-being), on the other. He disagrees with Keller that worldly patriotism is a negative moral phenomenon and with Kleinig that it is a positive one, arguing that worldly patriotism is merely morally permissible. However, like Kleinig, Primoratz takes ethical patriotism to be morally recommendable, even if for reasons different from Kleinig’s.
I cannot hope to do justice here to the intricate web of distinctions, examples, arguments, and counterarguments that these three philosophers offer for their own views...