The Ethics of Cultural Heritage

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018)
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Do members of cultural groups have special claims to own or control the products of the cultures to which they belong? Is there something morally wrong with employing artistic styles that are distinctive of a culture to which you do not belong? What is the relationship between cultural heritage and group identity? Is there a coherent and morally acceptable sense of cultural group membership in the first place? Is there a universal human heritage to which everyone has a claim? Questions such as these concern the ethics of cultural heritage (or heritage ethics, for short). This entry seeks to provide an overview of the philosophical work on topics in heritage ethics, as well as introduce readers to some of the most philosophically relevant literature from other disciplines.



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Erich Hatala Matthes
Wellesley College