Authors
David Friedell
Union College
Shen-yi Liao
University of Puget Sound
Abstract
We apply a familiar distinction from philosophy of language to a class of material artifacts that are sometimes said to “speak”: statues. By distinguishing how statues speak at the locutionary level versus at the illocutionary level, or what they say versus what they do, we obtain the resource for addressing two topics. First, we can explain what makes statues distinct from street art. Second, we can explain why it is mistaken to criticize—or to defend—the continuing presence of statues based only on what they represent. Both explanations are driven by the same core idea: the significance of statues arises primarily from what they do, and not what they say.
Keywords monuments  commemorations  street art  exercitive  meaning  applied philosophy of language
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References found in this work BETA

Oppressive Things.Shen-yi Liao & Bryce Huebner - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):92-113.
A Case for Removing Confederate Monuments.Travis Timmerman - 2020 - In Bob Fischer (ed.), Ethics, Left and Right: The Moral Issues that Divide Us. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 513-522.

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