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Charles Blattberg

Charles Blattberg is a professor of political philosophy at the Université de Montréal. Blattberg grew up in Toronto and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, where he also served as president of its Students’ Administrative Council during the 1989–90 academic year.

Between 1990 and 1992, he attended McGill University where he received an MA studying under the philosopher Charles Taylor. He then went to England and France and was awarded a DEA from the Sorbonne (Université de Paris I) in 1996 and his doctorate the following year from the University of Oxford, where he did his research under Profs. Michael Freeden and Sir Isaiah Berlin. This was followed by two years of post-doctoral research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and then one year as an Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy, Tel Aviv University. He has been teaching political philosophy at the Université de Montréal since 2000, except for 2005–06 when he was a Lady Davis Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Blattberg has been developing a political philosophy which he calls 'new patriotism', which he wants to distinguish from nationalism so as to focus on the common good shared by the members of a political rather than national community. In order to realise this common good, Blattberg argues, citizens need to engage in conversation with each other. Conversation aims to reconcile rather than merely accommodate conflict, which is why it should be distinguished from the negotiation that is so often encouraged by pluralist political philosophers like his former teacher Berlin.

Patriotism welcomes negotiation as well, but only when the conversation has broken down. Conversation's extreme fragility is, moreover, one reason why Blattberg is so critical of rights talk, which he sees as appropriate only for the adversarial modes of dialogue that are negotiation or pleading.


  • From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-19-829688-6.
  • Shall We Dance? A Patriotic Politics for Canada, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-7735-2547-5 (cloth). ISBN 0-7735-2596-3 (pbk). Translation: Et si nous dansions? Pour une politique du bien commun au Canada, Montreal: Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 2004. ISBN 2-7606-1948-6.
  • Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009. ISBN 0773534911 (cloth). ISBN 0773535381 (pbk)
  • The Adventurous Young Philosopher Theo Hoshen of Toronto (a novel, forthcoming).

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