How Public Statues Wrong: Affective Artifacts and Affective Injustice

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In what way might public statues wrong people? In recent years, philosophers have drawn on speech act theory to answer this question by arguing that statues constitute harmful or disrespectful forms of speech. My aim in this paper will be add a different theoretical perspective to this discussion. I will argue that while the speech act approach provides a useful starting point for thinking about what is wrong with public statues, we can get a fuller understanding of these wrongs by drawing on resources from recent work in situated affectivity. I will argue that public statues can be understood as affective artifacts and that this can both help us understand both the deep affective wrongs caused by public statues and offer a possible explanation as to why some people are so strongly opposed to their removal.

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Alfred Archer
Tilburg University

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Scaffoldings of the affective mind.Giovanna Colombetti & Joel Krueger - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1157-1176.
White Ignorance.Charles W. Mills - 2007 - In Shannon Sullivan & Nancy Tuana (eds.), Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance. Albany, NY: State Univ of New York Pr. pp. 11-38.

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