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Miller and Nussbaum.doc

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Western University
Philosophy 2810F/G
Jennifer Epp

WEEK 3 LECT 1 NATIONALISM • the attitude that members of a nation have when they care about their national identity • the claim that one's primary moral obligations are to fellow nationals or to the nation it- self (is this a principle?) • some human beings, via affiliation with a corporate group, belong to nations. Nations and feelings of loyalty toward them are valuable and should be cultivated • your membership in a nation has ethical significance - claim that we should give greater moral status to people in our nation because that benefits our self interest • this isn't exactly what he talks about - national claims are motivating to something to self interest and we are motivated because we are self motivated by our nation • Nationalism isn't good or right because of something, it is because there are no other alternatives you only have PRIMARY obligations to people in your country - and this is the most • important THE ARGUMENT FOR NATIONALISM • who we identify with determines who we owe obligations to. People identify very strongly with their nations. So they have obligations arising out of nationality • - objection: the prior question should be 'who should I identify with?' why is it right that I identify with my nation just because I do? To assume begs the question. • - objection: Primary identification isn't usually national. Special obligations only in the latter case? Conflicts? • your national association is not necessarily voluntary - argument against cosmopoli- tanism - don't have an argument for nationalism • 2. we should let the obligations of our group acknowledges influence the obligations we personally acknowledge. Nationals say that they have special obligations to each other, therefore I should too. • - objection: the argument is incomplete. We are owed an explanation of why we should allow ourselves to be influenced. sometimes we shouldn't go along with groups because they do bad things. • 3. I can understand my special obligations by referring to the public culture of my na- tions (i.e the way the group imagines itself, the values it holds most important and the obligations to other nations • 4. national obligations are necessary to back up state obligations. If there aren't any national obligations then state obligations will be minimal (that would be bad so we should accept special obligations to fellow nationals?) • - objection: this is not an argument for obligations from nationality unless its results is absurd (and it isn't) only works if the benefits of Nationalism outweigh the harms QUESTION without acceptance of obligations to fellow nationals, there would only be a minimal state (thats bad so recognize natural obligations) P - without national feeling, citizens would expect strict reciprocity P - strict reciprocity would NOT obtain for things like welfare services, or anything insur- ance or private purchase could supply P- if they didn't get strict reciprocity then either 1. slim down the state (cut services) OR 2. make the nation coincide with the state C - without acceptance of obligations to fellow nationals, there would only be a minimal state BETTER ARGUMENTS are there better arguments for nations? • • we benefit from our membership in a nation and we are therefore indebted to fellow nationals, owing them repayment in some way that we do not owe to others • people are better off when they are members of a nation to which they owe special obligation than they would be otherwise NATIONALIST OBLIGATIONS TO OUTSIDERS • are there any? - yes, duties to uphold negative human rights i.e duties of non interfer- ence • a positive duty to convince primary addresses to uphold their duties • is there a weaker duty to fulfill duties the primary addressee
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