This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: to make it his
ground project, even though he is rationally aware that the former is a false representation of
83 Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1990), 160
Christine M. Korsgaard, “Scepticism about Practical Reason”, The Journal of Philosophy 83:1 (Jan., 1986), 18 48 the latter, but this is, according to Korsgaard still a form of irrationality – a failure to be
motivated by our rational considerations or being “’wilfully’ blind to them”. This irrationality
may, in the words of the same autor, result from “self-deception, rationalization and the
various forms of weakness of will”85.
So to make a final conclusion – the nationalist imagery which Tamir claims can
persuade citizens to adopt the the state as a ground project, is either inspiring some factual
beliefs about the nature of the modern liberal state as a bearer of a tradition of a common
good, or it is not raising any such beliefs but is doing its perssuasion on a purely irrational
level. In the first case, the beliefs that it is inspiring are false and therefore the motive acquired
on the bases of these false beliefs cannot provide the reason for one to sacrifice her life for it.
In the second case, however, the ground project is again unable to provide one with this CEU eTD Collection reason since it is acquired on irrational bases. 85 Christine Korsgaard, 14 49 CONCLUSION
Liberal order differs from the iliberal ones in that it allows citizens to freely choose
their ends. These ends can be considered by others to be absurd, worthless, or even irrational,
but as long as the person holding them does not infringe on other persons’ freedom, she has an
unalianable right to pursue them. She can, to use the famous Rawlsian example, consider
counting blades of grass to be a worthy goal, and it is not up to the state to dispute her
opinion. There is no reason why it would be any different with a person holding the wellfare
of the state as her end, even if she holds it so because she has certain false beliefs about its
character. Such a person would have every right to pursue her end even is she considers that it
includes sacrificing her life for it. There would be nothing inconsistent to liberal morality if
the army would allow such a person to sign up for service, even though her reasons for
signing up may not be the same as the reasons that the state has to allow her to do it. Also,
there seems to be no inconsistancy in the liberal state persuading its citizens to voluntareely
take part in the projects which further the public interest, such as volunteer work, or blood
Yael Tamir’s suggestion, however, goes one step further – she claims that the state has
a right to use nationalist imagery in persuading people to choose the state as their end. This is, CEU eTD Collection as I have shown, an illegitimate step in two conected but still separate senses. First, I have
shown that persons who adopt what...
View Full Document