Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism.
January 9, 2002 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism. An excellent essay by classicist Martha Nussbaum on the importance of a cosmopolitan education and the limitations of nationalism.
posted by homunculus (7 comments total)
Interesting read, the classical parallels are fascinating. Funny to have such idealism while using Diogenes, the father of cynacism, as an example. And, ultimately, we all know nationalism is really dangerous, so its not exactly a new idea.

I saw Nussbaum speak at NYU last summer, quite a good speaker.
posted by malphigian at 12:26 PM on January 9, 2002

An excellent article, thanks for the link -- I'll be blogging it. My favorite section was where she detailed the fatal spiral that nationalism leads to -- if our loyalty is greater to our country than the rest of the world, than it must be greater to our class than to our country, to our family than our class, and to ourselves than our families. Excellent stuff.

(my blog, by the way. this is not intended as a self link, but this particular blog is not found in my profile.)
posted by tweebiscuit at 12:36 PM on January 9, 2002

Thanks, homunculus. There's more online than meets the eye, definitely. I'd say she was more of a political philosopher than a classicist, though.

A year ago I saw this two-hour long interview with her, by some Dutch guy who also interviewed other philosophers, and was amazed by how natural she was, crying, emoting, thinking aloud, looking like she'd never said anything like that before.

It was a strange sensation - I'd been reading her for so long - but unforgettable.

I'm stealing this as well, natch!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:22 PM on January 9, 2002

Some Questions for Martha Nussbaum.. She has been accused of misrepresentations, distortions, and deceptions, of falsifying the positions not only of Plato and Aristotle but also of such modern commentators on Greek philosophy and public morality as Sir Kenneth Dover, A.W. Price, and Gregory Vlastos. Indeed, she has been accused her of misrepresenting her own published work.
posted by Mack Twain at 3:06 PM on January 9, 2002

Glad you all liked the article. Mack Twain, thanks for the link, I did not know about this controversy.
posted by homunculus at 4:51 PM on January 9, 2002

i remember naomi klein saying somewhere that part of her inspiration came from studying identity politics in college and i was just thinking cosmopolitanism might be part of her overall philosophy. has anyone read her new book, upheavals of thought? i've never really read any philosophy before, but i saw this review on scitech and it sounded pretty good.

my only brush with identity politics came from reading a little edward said and benedict anderson, but i think their ideas intersect with martha nussbaum's fairly well. there was an interview with benedict anderson on nettime about digital communities that's really cool. also wood s lot recently posted this neat thing on humanism, which i believe is undergoing a bit of a revival too.
posted by kliuless at 8:43 PM on January 9, 2002

I am neither Nationalistic nor Cosmopolitan. The world beyond my countries borders is of little interest to me. I can be disappointed or ashamed of the government's actions in the larger world, but I don't support the government to a large degree, and their actions are not my fault. I am much more of my state, than of my country, and my city over my state. If this is a bad thing I don't really care.

You don't have to be one or the other, and both seem bothersome to me.
posted by thirteen at 1:36 PM on January 10, 2002

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