Cosmopolitanism discarded: Martha Nussbaum's patriotic education and the inward-outward distinction
SourceEthics and Education
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In her famous text ‘Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism’, Martha Nussbaum argued for cosmopolitan education in ways that evoked a tension between cosmopolitanism and patriotism. Among others, Charles Taylor considered her treatment of patriotism vague and lopsided, and pointed out that patriotism is not as secondary or as dispensable as Nussbaum seemed to imply. Later, Nussbaum gradually reconsidered the notion of patriotism in texts that remained largely unknown and rarely discussed. This article begins with a brief account of her shift from cosmopolitanism to what she terms ‘a globally sensitive patriotism,’ and the task assigned to education within this framework. The examples Nussbaum uses to illustrate the principles she proposes for teaching patriotism are then discussed. Her conception of patriotism reflects broader preoccupations concerning patriotism in liberal and communitarian political philosophy and education that overlook what can be termed ‘an outward aspect of patriotism.’ In light of this critique, I attempt to formulate an account of patriotism that may be in line (rather than in tension) with cosmopolitanism and quite different from current liberal or communitarian patriotic accounts.