Rational altruism and global citizenship education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


Today there is a growing sense in diverse countries that education should prepare young people to react to effects of globalization, good and bad. In relation, there have been calls for moral philosophers and philosophers of education to focus on concepts underpinning education for “critical democracy” and “compassionate citizenship,” amidst a sense of hopelessness in global anarchy, and against a simplistic globalization-as-free-trade model. In this essay, I examine rational altruism as a virtue underpinning global citizenship and social responsibility. First, I consider the views of altruism offered by Thomas Nagel, Lawrence Blum, and Eamonn Callan, in relation to a Buddhist view of altruism as elaborated by Joel Kupperman. I defend a dispassionate view of altruism, and briefly discuss its implications for education for global citizenship. Copyright © 2013 Philosophy of Education Society (PESA).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceeding of the 43rd PESA International Conference – 2013
EditorsR. Scott WEBSTER, Steven A. STOLZ
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Vic.
PublisherPhilosophy of Education Society (PESA)
ISBN (Print)9780646904191
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Jackson, L. (2013). Rational altruism and global citizenship education. In R. S. Webster & S. A. Stolz (Eds.), Proceeding of the 43rd PESA International Conference – 2013 (pp. 113-119). Melbourne, Vic.: Philosophy of Education Society (PESA).


  • Altruism
  • Global citizenship
  • Compassion
  • Rationalism
  • Moral philosophy


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