CBI: Martha Nussbaum, "Teaching Patriotism"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 12:25pm - 1:30pm
University of Chicago Law School, Classroom II

Schools teach patriotism all the time, but many people think that this is a bad idea.  Patriotic rituals may convey misplaced and hierarchical values; they may coerce conscience; and they may promote a dangerous type of uncritical homogeneity.  On the other hand, it seems difficult to motivate sacrifices of self-interest for the common good without patriotic emotion.  I argue that there is a way of negotiating these difficulties and teaching a type of patriotism that is rooted in good values, protective of conscience, and friendly to critical thinking and dissent. I illustrate my argument from the history of the U. S. and India, discussing Lincoln, King, Gandhi, and Nehru.

Sponsored by Winston & Strawn LLP

Martha C. Nussbaum