Environmental Heritage and the Ruins of the Future

In Carolyn Korsmeyer, Jeanette Bicknell & Jennifer Judkins (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials. Routledge (2019)
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Abstract

We now have good reason to worry that many coastal cities will be flooded by the end of the century. How should we confront this possibility (or inevitability)? What attitudes should we adopt to impending inundation of such magnitude? In the case of place-loss due to anthropogenic climate change, I argue that there may ultimately be something fitting about letting go, both thinking prospectively, when the likelihood of preservation is bleak, and retrospectively, when we reflect on our inability to prevent destruction. I then explore some of the ethical complications of this response.

Author's Profile

Erich Hatala Matthes
Wellesley College

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