Lai, Ten-Herng. Objectionable Commemorations, Historical Value, and Repudiatory Honouring
, Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Added by: Ten-Herng LaiAbstract: 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 distorted versions of history, if not mere myths. We can also learn historical lessons through what I call repudiatory honouring: the honouring of certain victims or resistors that can only make sense if the oppressor(s) or target(s) of resistance are deemed unjust, where no part of the original objectionable commemorations is preserved. This type of commemorative practice can even help to overcome some of the obstacles objectionable commemorations pose against properly connecting to the past.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Miranda, Dana Francisco. Critical commemorations
2020, Journal of Global Ethics 16(3): 422-430
Added by: Ten-Herng LaiAbstract: Drawing on the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, this contribution will examine commemorative practices alongside critical modes of historical engagement. In Untimely Meditations, Friedrich Nietzsche documents three historical methodologies—the monumental, antiquarian and critical—which purposely use history in non-objective ways. In particular, critical history desires to judge and reject historical figures rather than repeat the past or venerate the dead. For instance, in recent protests against racism there have also been calls to decolonize public space through the defacement, destruction, and removal of monuments. There is thus much potential in critical history being used to address ongoing harms.
Comment (from this Blueprint): This paper brings out nicely doubts on the objectivity of history as it is presented to us. The pretence of objective history can be used as an oppressive tool to delegitimise the critical reflection of the history of the marginalised. A particular point of interest is objecting to the standards of "greatness," which could be found very plausible. It seems that we have indeed been honouring people who have done great (from a certain point of view) but terrible things.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
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Comment (from this Blueprint): Many scholars in this debate have been too charitable to racists, colonialists, oppressors, and their sympathisers. While admirable, I think it is important to expose the flaws of preservationism: there is simply not much value in preservation.