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  1. Commemoration, Militarism, and Gratitude.Kyle Fruh - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-20.
    Recent years have seen various forms of honorific public art – statues, monuments, and the like – brought under renewed moral scrutiny. This scrutiny has resulted in some high-profile removals, some defacement and additional contextualization to augment existing objects, and some cases of the status quo prevailing. Scholarly treatment of the issues has similarly resulted in arguments that articulate competing values that support removal, modification or preservation. I bring the insights of these arguments to bear on specifically military commemorations, where (...)
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  • How Statues Speak.David Friedell & Shen-yi Liao - 2022 - The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (4):444-452.
    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 (...)
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  • How Public Statues Wrong: Affective Artifacts and Affective Injustice.Alfred Archer - forthcoming - Topoi:1-11.
    In what way might public statues wrong people? In recent years, philosophers have drawn on speech act theory to answer this question by arguing that statues constitute harmful or disrespectful forms of speech. My aim in this paper will be add a different theoretical perspective to this discussion. I will argue that while the speech act approach provides a useful starting point for thinking about what is wrong with public statues, we can get a fuller understanding of these wrongs by (...)
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  • Objectionable Commemorations: Ethical and Political Issues.Chong-Ming Lim & Ten-Herng Lai - 2024 - Philosophy Compass 19 (2):e12963.
    The term, "objectionable commemorations”, refers to a broad category of public artefacts – such as, and especially, memorials, monuments and statues – that are regarded as morally problematic in virtue of what or whom they honour. In this regard, they are a special class of public artefacts that are subject to public contestation. In this paper, we survey the general ethical and political issues on this topic. First, we categorise the arguments on offer in the literature, concerning the objectionable nature (...)
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  • Objectionable Commemorations, Historical Value, and Repudiatory Honouring.Ten-Herng Lai - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-11.
    Many have argued that certain statues or monuments are objectionable, and thus ought to be removed. Even if their arguments are compelling, a major obstacle is the apparent historical value of those commemorations. Preservation in some form seems to be the best way to respect the value of commemorations as connections to the past or opportunities to learn important historical lessons. Against this, I argue that we have exaggerated the historical value of objectionable commemorations. Sometimes commemorations connect to biased or (...)
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  • Political vandalism as counter‐speech: A defense of defacing and destroying tainted monuments.Ten-Herng Lai - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):602-616.
    Tainted political symbols ought to be confronted, removed, or at least recontextualized. Despite the best efforts to achieve this, however, official actions on tainted symbols often fail to take place. In such cases, I argue that political vandalism—the unauthorized defacement, destruction, or removal of political symbols—may be morally permissible or even obligatory. This is when, and insofar as, political vandalism serves as fitting counter-speech that undermines the authority of tainted symbols in ways that match their publicity, refuses to let them (...)
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  • Risk, War, and the Dangers of Soldier Identity.Michael Robillard - 2017 - Journal of Military Ethics 16 (3-4):205-219.
    ABSTRACTThe profession of arms is distinct from other professions for many reasons. One reason which is not so obvious is that, unlike members of other professions, soldiers may go their entire careers preparing for a day that never arrives. All things considered, we should think this to be a very good thing. For soldiers, however, this can feel somewhat odd, since there is a natural desire to want to feel useful and to see one’s role and purpose find realization. Accordingly, (...)
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  • 'Filling the Ranks': Moral Risk and the Ethics of Military Recruitment.Jonathan Parry & Christina Easton - forthcoming - American Political Science Review.
    If states are permitted to create and maintain a military force, by what means are they permitted to do so? This paper argues that a theory of just recruitment should incorporate a concern for moral risk. Since the military is a morally risky profession for its members, recruitment policies should be evaluated in terms of how they distribute moral risk within a community. We show how common military recruitment practices exacerbate and concentrate moral risk exposure, using the UK as a (...)
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  • Justifying Uncivil Disobedience.Ten-Herng Lai - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy 5:90-114.
    A prominent way of justifying civil disobedience is to postulate a pro tanto duty to obey the law and to argue that the considerations that ground this duty sometimes justify forms of civil disobedience. However, this view entails that certain kinds of uncivil disobedience are also justified. Thus, either a) civil disobedience is never justified or b) uncivil disobedience is sometimes justified. Since a) is implausible, we should accept b). I respond to the objection that this ignores the fact that (...)
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