History, Value, and Irreplaceability

Ethics 124 (1):35-64 (2013)
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Abstract

It is often assumed that there is a necessary relationship between historical value and irreplaceability, and that this is an essential feature of historical value’s distinctive character. Contrary to this assumption, I argue that it is a merely contingent fact that some historically valuable things are irreplaceable, and that irreplaceability is not a distinctive feature of historical value at all. Rather, historically significant objects, from heirlooms to artifacts, offer us an otherwise impossible connection with the past, a value that persists even in the face of suitable replacements.

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Erich Hatala Matthes
Wellesley College

Citations of this work

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.
The Significance of the Past.Guy Kahane - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (4):582-600.
Repatriation and the Radical Redistribution of Art.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:931-953.

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References found in this work

Love as a moral emotion.J. David Velleman - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):338-374.
Love as valuing a relationship.Niko Kolodny - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (2):135-189.
Rethinking intrinsic value.Shelly Kagan - 1998 - The Journal of Ethics 2 (4):277-297.
Love as Valuing a Relationship.Niko Kolodny - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (2):135-189.
Love and death.Dan Moller - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (6):301-316.

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