Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

European Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 11, No. 1, April 2003

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

European Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 11, No. 1, April 2003

Article excerpt

Democracy and Collective Identity: in Defence of Constitutional Patriotism, CIARAN CRONIN

Jurgen Habermas's defense of "constitutional patriotism"--the view that loyalty to the principles and institutions of constitutional democracy can ground a coherent conception of collective identity for a modern society--has met with considerable skepticism from critics who question whether it represents a viable alternative to nationalism as a source of political identification and social solidarity. Such skepticism can be successfully addressed, the author argues, once constitutional patriotism is read in light of the shift from a substantive to a procedural understanding of collective identity that is foreshadowed in Habermas's writings in the 1970s and finds its full theoretical development in his recent proceduralist theory of law and democracy. Taking the "historians' debate" as an example, the author argues further that this model of identity informs his interventions in public political debates over German national identity, which suggests that constitutional patriotism is compatible with a reflexive and critical conception of national identity, and hence is more properly understood as "postnationalist" than as "postnational."

Outside Ethics, RAYMOND GEUSS

Particularism, Generalism and the Counting Argument, SIMON KIRCHIN

In a recent collection of papers, Moral Particularism, some writers argue against a particularist (in the sense developed by Jonathan Dancy) explanation of thick ethical features. In this piece the author argues that particularists can tackle what he regards as the most interesting argument put forward by these writers, an argument he calls the Counting Argument. …

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