Ruins and Sham Ruins as Architectural Objects

In Jeanette Bicknell, Jennifer Judkins & Carolyn Korsmeyer (eds.), Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials: Philosophical Perspectives on Artifacts and Memory. Taylor & Francis (2019)
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Abstract

The premium on authenticity attributed to aesthetic appreciation and judgment of ruins is unnecessary, even while valuable for engagement with ruins as historical objects. I contrast values we assign to architectural ruins and to nongenuine, sham ruins. Ruins are components of built past architectural objects; sham ruins are components of fantasy, unbuilt architectural objects. Taking architectural objects as abstractions realized or realizable as built objects, ruins and sham ruins alike are built instances of corresponding abstract objects. Sham ruins do not offer different or fewer sorts of aesthetic value than do actual ruins; the authenticity premium is thereby eliminated.

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Saul Fisher
Mercy University

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