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  1. Who Owns Up to the Past? Heritage and Historical Injustice.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):87-104.
    ‘Heritage’ is a concept that often carries significant normative weight in moral and political argument. In this article, I present and critique a prevalent conception according to which heritage must have a positive valence. I argue that this view of heritage leads to two moral problems: Disowning Injustice and Embracing Injustice. In response, I argue for an alternative conception of heritage that promises superior moral and political consequences. In particular, this alternative jettisons the traditional focus on heritage as a primarily (...)
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  • Cultural Appropriation Without Cultural Essentialism?Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (2):343-366.
    Is there something morally wrong with cultural appropriation in the arts? I argue that the little philosophical work on this topic has been overly dismissive of moral objections to cultural appropriation. Nevertheless, I argue that philosophers working on epistemic injustice have developed powerful conceptual tools that can aid in our understanding of objections that have been levied by other scholars and artists. I then consider the relationship between these objections and the harms of cultural essentialism. I argue that focusing on (...)
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  • The Ethics of Historic Preservation.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):786-794.
    This article draws together research from various sub-disciplines of philosophy to offer an overview of recent philosophical work on the ethics of historic preservation. I discuss how philosophers writing about art, culture, and the environment have appealed to historical significance in crafting arguments about the preservation of objects, practices, and places. By demonstrating how it relates to core themes in moral and political philosophy, I argue that historic preservation is essentially concerned with ethical issues.
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  • Repatriation and the Radical Redistribution of Art.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:931-953.
    Museums are home to millions of artworks and cultural artifacts, some of which have made their way to these institutions through unjust means. Some argue that these objects should be repatriated (i.e. returned to their country or culture of origin). However, these arguments face a series of philosophical challenges. In particular, repatriation, even if justified, is often portrayed as contrary to the aims and values of museums. However, in this paper, I argue that some of the very considerations museums appeal (...)
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  • Symbolic Values.Ryan W. Davis - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (4):449-467.
    When a symbol is a marker of a primary bearer of value and, secondarily, a bearer of value itself, then it has symbolic value. Philosophers have long been suspicious of symbolic values, often regarding them as illusory or irrelevant. I suggest that arguments against symbolic values either overgeneralize or else require premises that can only be supported if the normative significance of some symbolic considerations is presupposed. Humans need symbols to represent identity facts to themselves and others. Symbolic values thereby (...)
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  • The Ethics of Cultural Heritage.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    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 (...)
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