Objectionable Commemorations, Historical Value, and Repudiatory Honouring

Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-11 (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.

Similar books and articles

Transforming problematic commemorations through vandalism.Chong-Ming Lim - 2020 - Journal of Global Ethics 16 (3):414-421.
Honour thy king.Monicka Patterson-Tutschka - 2011 - History of Political Thought 32 (3):465-498.
Critical commemorations.Dana Francisco Miranda - 2020 - Journal of Global Ethics 16 (3):422-430.
The Historiography of Balinese Texts,'.Adrian Vickers - 1990 - History and Theory 29 (2):158-178.
Balinese Texts and Historiography.Adrian Vickers - 1990 - History and Theory 29 (2):158-178.
What are Transitions For? Atrocity, International Criminal Justice, and the Political.Barrozo Paulo - 2014 - QUINNIPIAC LAW REVIEW (Symposium Issue on Transitional Justice) 32 (3):675-705.
Global Justice, Historical Justice.Andrew Stark - 2012 - Political Theory 40 (5):543-572.
Competing Commemorations: Apostrophes of the Dead in the Aeneid.Aaron M. Seider - 2012 - American Journal of Philology 133 (2):241-269.


Added to PP

457 (#29,505)

6 months
123 (#10,620)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ten-Herng Lai
University of Stirling

Citations of this work

How Statues Speak.David Friedell & Shen-yi Liao - 2022 - The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (4):444-452.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Oppressive Things.Shen-yi Liao & Bryce Huebner - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):92-113.
A Case for Removing Confederate Monuments.Travis Timmerman - 2020 - In Bob Fischer (ed.), Ethics, Left and Right: The Moral Issues that Divide Us. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 513-522.
Slurring Words.Luvell Anderson & Ernie Lepore - 2011 - Noûs 47 (1):25-48.

View all 31 references / Add more references