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Erich Hatala Matthes
Wellesley College
  1. Cultural Appropriation and Oppression.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1003-1013.
    In this paper, I present an outline of the oppression account of cultural appropriation and argue that it offers the best explanation for the wrongfulness of the varied and complex cases of appropriation to which people often object. I then compare the oppression account with the intimacy account defended by C. Thi Nguyen and Matt Strohl. Though I believe that Nguyen and Strohl’s account offers important insight into an essential dimension of the cultural appropriation debate, I argue that justified objections (...)
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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. The Clean Plate Club? Food Waste and Individual Responsibility.Erich Hatala Matthes & Jaclyn Hatala Matthes - 2018 - In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 313-330.
    We offer an overview of both the empirical literature on food waste and philosophical work on the concept of waste. We use this background to argue that an overemphasis on the reduction of individual food waste is misleading at best, and pernicious at worst, in combatting the substantial problems that global food waste creates. Rather, we argue that civic engagement and political activism aimed at institutional reform will be essential in addressing these problems.
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  5.  97
    Authenticity and the Aesthetic Experience of History.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):649-657.
    In this paper, I argue that norms of artistic and aesthetic authenticity that prioritize material origins foreclose on broader opportunities for aesthetic experience: particularly, for the aesthetic experience of history. I focus on Carolyn Korsmeyer’s recent articles in defense of the aesthetic value of genuineness and argue that her rejection of the aesthetic significance of historical value is mistaken. Rather, I argue that recognizing the aesthetic significance of historical value points the way towards rethinking the dominance of the very norms (...)
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  6. Art and Cultural Heritage: An ASA Curriculum Diversification Guide.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2017 - American Society for Aesthetics, Curriculum Diversification Guides.
    Art is saturated with cultural significance. Considering the full spectrum of ways in which art is colored by cultural associations raises a variety of difficult and fascinating philosophical questions. This curriculum guide focuses in particular on questions that arise when we consider art as a form of cultural heritage. Organized into four modules, readings explore core questions about art and ethics, aesthetic value, museum practice, and art practice. They are designed to be suitable for use in an introduction to philosophy (...)
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  7. History, Value, and Irreplaceability.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2013 - Ethics 124 (1):35-64.
    It is often assumed that there is a necessary relationship between historical value and irreplaceability, and that this is an essential feature of historical value’s distinctive character. Contrary to this assumption, I argue that it is a merely contingent fact that some historically valuable things are irreplaceable, and that irreplaceability is not a distinctive feature of historical value at all. Rather, historically significant objects, from heirlooms to artifacts, offer us an otherwise impossible connection with the past, a value that persists (...)
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  8.  24
    Environmental Heritage and the Ruins of the Future.Erich Hatala Matthes - forthcoming - In Carolyn Korsmeyer, Jeanette Bicknell & Jennifer Judkins (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials. Routledge.
    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 (...)
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  9. Impersonal Value, Universal Value, and the Scope of Cultural Heritage.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):999-1027.
    Philosophers have used the terms 'impersonal' and 'personal value' to refer to, among others things, whether something's value is universal or particular to an individual. In this paper, I propose an account of impersonal value that, I argue, better captures the intuitive distinction than potential alternatives, while providing conceptual resources for moving beyond the traditional stark dichotomy. I illustrate the practical importance of my theoretical account with reference to debate over the evaluative scope of cultural heritage.
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  10. 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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  11. Review of Patina: A Profane Archaeology, by Shannon Lee Dawdy. [REVIEW]Erich Hatala Matthes - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (2):249-252.
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  12.  82
    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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  13. Love in Spite Of.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 6:241-262.
    Consider two commonly cited requirements of love. The first is that we should love people for who they are. The second is that loving people should involve concern for their well-being. But what happens when an aspect of someone’s identity conflicts with her well-being? In examining this question, I develop an account of loving someone in spite of something. Although there are cases where loving in spite of is merited, I argue that we generally do wrong to love people in (...)
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  14.  93
    On the Democratic Value of Distrust.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (3):1-5.
    In her paper "(White) Tyranny and the Democratic Value of Distrust," Meena Krishnamurthy argues that distrust has a political value that has often been overlooked by democratic theorists. She pursues this argument by developing an account of distrust from Martin Luther King Jr. and exploring the role that King's distrust played in the Black Civil Rights Movement. In this discussion note, I argue that an alternative account of distrust from recent work by Katherine Hawley can better capture distrust 's democratic (...)
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