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Heritage and War Ethical Issues


Heritage and War Ethical Issues

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 06/09/2023
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The world responded with horror to ISIS's campaign of destruction of cultural heritage across the Middle East, including with calls for an international response to prevent such damage. At the same time, newspapers and screens were filled with images of human destruction, devastated cities, and thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict. This juxtaposition caused a backlash against those voicing their concerns about the destruction of ancient ruins, popularly framed as dispute about 'stone versus lives'. In the face of so much human suffering, it can seem inappropriate to worry about anything but the urgent, basic needs of people.

Heritage and War addresses this issue within the context of a wider debate, amidst a range of moral questions. Eleven original essays investigate a variety of philosophical and moral questions arising from the phenomenon of heritage destruction in war, such how we ought to respond to heritage that is damaged in war, the nature of the harm caused by such damage, and the morally appropriate treatment of sites of war and conflict that have themselves become heritage sites. Such issues are philosophically rich, and yet they have been largely neglected by academic philosophers. This book makes a substantial contribution to developing this new philosophical territory and identifying the role that philosophers have to play in developing our understanding of and responses to these important issues.

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