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A Case for Removing Confederate Monuments

In Bob Fischer (ed.), Ethics, Left and Right: The Moral Issues that Divide Us. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 513-522 (2020)

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  1. The Racial Offense Objection to Confederate Monuments: A Reply to Timmerman.Dan Demetriou - forthcoming - In Bob Fischer (ed.), Ethics Left and Right: The Moral Issues that Divide Us.
    This is my reply essay (1000 words) to Travis Timmerman's "A Case for Removing Confederate Monuments" in Bob Fisher's _Ethics, Left and Right: The Moral Issues That Divide Us_ volume (2020). In it, I explain why I think the mere harm from the racial offense a monument may cause does not justify removing it.
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  • Objectionable Commemorations, Historical Value, and Repudiatory Honouring.Ten-Herng Lai - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Many have argued that certain statues or monuments are objectionable, and thus ought to be removed. Even if their arguments are compelling, a major obstacle is the apparent historical value of those commemorations. Preservation in some form seems to be the best way to respect the value of commemorations as connections to the past or opportunities to learn important historical lessons. Against this, I argue that we have exaggerated the historical value of objectionable commemorations. Sometimes commemorations connect to biased or (...)
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  • Homesteading the Noosphere: The Ethics of Owning Biological Information.Robert R. Wadholm - 2018 - Northern Plains Ethics Journal 6 (1):47-63.
    The idea of homesteading can be extended to the realm of biological entities, to the ownership of information wherein organisms perform artifactual functions as a result of human development. Can the information of biological entities be ethically “homesteaded”: should humans (or businesses) have ownership rights over this information from the basis of mere development and possession, as in Locke’s theory of private property? I offer three non-consequentialist arguments against such homesteading: the information makeup of biological entities is not commonly owned, (...)
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  • Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Volume 9.Mark Timmons (ed.) - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    OSNE is an annual forum for new work in normative ethical theory. Leading philosophers advance our understanding of a wide range of moral issues and positions, from analysis of competing normative theories to questions of how we should act and live well. OSNE will be an essential resource for scholars and students working in moral philosophy.
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  • Statues, History, and Identity: How Bad Public History Statues Wrong.Daniel Abrahams - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-15.
    There has recently been a focus on the question of statue removalism. This concerns what to do with public history statues that honour or otherwise celebrate ethically bad historical figures. The specific wrongs of these statues have been understood in terms of derogatory speech, inapt honours, or supporting bad ideologies. In this paper I understand these bad public history statues as history, and identify a distinctive class of public history-specific wrongs. Specifically, public history plays an important identity-shaping role, and bad (...)
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  • Addressed Blame and Hostility.Benjamin De Mesel - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (1):111-119.
    Benjamin Bagley ('Properly Proleptic Blame', Ethics 127, July 2017) sets out a dilemma for addressed blame, that is, blame addressed to its targets as an implicit demand for recognition. The dilemma arises when we ask whether offenders would actually appreciate this demand, via a sound deliberative route from their existing motivations. If they would, their offense reflects a deliberative mistake. If they wouldn't, addressing them is futile, and blame's emotional engagement seems unwarranted. Bagley wants to resolve the dilemma in such (...)
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  • Monumental Questions.Daniel Sportiello - 2018 - Northern Plains Ethics Journal 6 (1):1–17.
    In recent years, there has been renewed controversy about monuments to the Confederacy: these monuments, their detractors insist, are instruments of white supremacy—and, as such, ought to be lowered immediately. The dialectic is by now familiar: though some insist that these monuments are mere sites of memory, others note the relevant memory is that of the Confederacy—and that, because of this, the monuments are inevitably racist. Worse, the monuments were raised by racist individuals for racist ends; no surprise, then, that (...)
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  • Questioning the Assumptions of Moralism, Universalism, and Interpretive Dominance in Racist Monument Debates.Dan Demetriou - forthcoming - Public Affairs Quarterly.
    This essay questions three widespread assumptions in monument debates it terms “moralism,” “universalism,” and “interpretive dominance.” Roughly: moralism assumes that memorials should be only to good people or good causes; universalism holds that memorials should represent or be “for” the whole polity or its (real or supposed) corporate values; interpretive dominance maintains that, when faced with monuments with reasonable qualifying and disqualifying interpretations, policy should respond to the disqualifying one(s). These assumptions do not settle the debates between removalists and preservationists, (...)
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  • Risking Civilian Lives to Avoid Harm to Cultural Heritage?William Bülow - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (3).
    This paper investigates the circumstances under which it is morally permissible to impose non-negligible risks of serious harm on innocent civilians in order not to endanger tangible cultural heritage during armed conflict. Building on a previous account of the value of cultural heritage, it is argued that tangible cultural heritage is valuable because of how it contributes to valuable and meaningful human lives. Taking this account as the point of departure I examine the claim that commanders should be prepared to (...)
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  • False Exemplars: Admiration and the Ethics of Public Monuments.Benjamin Cohen Rossi - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (1).
    In recent years, a new generation of activists has reinvigorated debate over the public commemorative landscape. While this debate is in no way limited to statues, it frequently crystallizes around public representations of historical figures who expressed support for the oppression of certain groups or contributed to their past or present oppression. In this paper, I consider what should be done about such representations. A number of philosophers have articulated arguments for modifying or removing public monuments. Joanna Burch-Brown (2017) grounds (...)
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  • “‘But I Voted for Him for Other Reasons!’: Moral Permissibility and a Doctrine of Double Endorsement.Alida Liberman - 2019 - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Volume 9. pp. 138 - 160.
    Many people presume that you can permissibly support the good features of a symbol, person, activity, or work of art while simultaneously denouncing its bad features. This chapter refines and assesses this commonsense (but undertheorized) moral justification for supporting problematic people, projects, and political symbols, and proposes an analogue of the Doctrine of Double Effect called the Doctrine of Double Endorsement (DDN). DDN proposes that when certain conditions are met, it is morally permissible to directly endorse some object in virtue (...)
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  • The Duty to Remove Statues of Wrongdoers.Helen Frowe - 2019 - Journal of Practical Ethics 7 (3):1-31.
    This paper argues that public statues of persons typically express a positive evaluative attitude towards the subject. It also argues that states have duties to repudiate their own historical wrongdoing, and to condemn other people’s serious wrongdoing. Both duties are incompatible with retaining public statues of people who perpetrated serious rights violations. Hence, a person’s being a serious rights violator is a sufficient condition for a state’s having a duty to remove a public statue of that person. I argue that (...)
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