GOVT-385 Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism
Fall for 2011-2012
This course will explore the rival concepts of patriotism and cosmopolitanism. In other words, what precisely does it mean to “love one’s country” or to be a “citizen of the world”? Do these commitments necessarily conflict with one another and, if so, to what extent? What are the sources and limits of our obligations to our fellow citizens and our fellow human beings? Is it correct to characterize cosmopolitanism as a rational principle and patriotism as a passion? We will examine various understandings of these two concepts from the history of political thought and from several literary works. Readings for the class will include Plato’s Crito, selections from Aristotle’s Politics, Cicero’s De Offciis, and Augustine’s letters, the Stoics and Kant’s Perpetual Peace, as well as selections from Thomas More, Alexis de Tocqueville, Marx and Engels, G.K. Chesterton, Frederick Douglass, Martha Nussbaum and Kwame Anthony Appiah.
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