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Keywords:

  • patriotism;
  • history;
  • legitimacy;
  • partiality;
  • loyalty;
  • coercion

Abstract

This article argues that while an attachment to one's country is both natural and even partially justifiable, cultivating loyal patriotism in schools is untenable insofar as it conflicts with the legitimate aims of education. These aims include the epistemological competence necessary for ascertaining important truths germane to the various disciplines; the cultivation of critical thinking skills (i.e. the ability to even-handedly consider counterfactual evidence); and developing the capacity for economic self-reliance. The author argues that loyal patriotism may result in a myopic understanding of history, an unhealthy attitude of superiority relative to other cultures, and a coerced sense of attachment to one's homeland.