Why do we cheer for our nation of origin during the Olympics and World Cup? What does it mean to make an ethical commitment to your nation or community? What does it mean to make an ethical commitment to the entire world? What should you do if those commitments conflict? How can we defend "human rights" while defending our national interests? Under what conditions is it proper to violate the sovereignty of another nation-state?
This course will examine the concepts of patriotism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism and how these ideas intersect. As an ethical engagement course, the goals of the course will include:
Reflecting upon ethical traditions, your own and those of others;
Grappling with the contingent and historically-rooted character of ethical action;
Posing, evaluating, and responding to ethical questions;
Recognizing oneself as an ethical agent within communities and the broader world.
The course will also have the following, more specific goals:
Distinguishing patriotism from nationalism;
Identifying and analyzing specific kinds of nationalism – ethnic, religious, political;
Considering the value, purpose, and limitations of patriotism;
Considering the value, purpose, and limitations of cosmopolitanism.