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  1. 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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  • 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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