Is it wrong to topple statues and rename schools?

Journal of Political Theory and Philosophy 1 (1):59-88 (2017)
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In recent years, campaigns across the globe have called for the removal of objects symbolic of white supremacy. This paper examines the ethics of altering or removing such objects. Do these strategies sanitize history, destroy heritage and suppress freedom of speech? Or are they important steps towards justice? Does removing monuments and renaming schools reflect a lack of parity and unfairly erase local identities? Or can it sometimes be morally required, as an expression of respect for the memories of people who endured past injustices; a recognition of this history's ongoing legacies; and a repudiation of unjust social hierarchies?

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Joanna Burch-Brown
University of Bristol

Citations of this work

When Artists Fall: Honoring and Admiring the Immoral.Alfred Archer & Benjamin Matheson - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):246-265.
The Duty to Remove Statues of Wrongdoers.Helen Frowe - 2019 - Journal of Practical Ethics 7 (3):1-31.
Statues, History, and Identity: How Bad Public History Statues Wrong.Daniel Abrahams - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (2):253-267.

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