Monumental Changes: The Civic Harm Argument for the Removal of Confederate Monuments
Winston C. Thompson and Timothy J. Barczak (Ohio State University)
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This article provides a definition of monuments and describes their potential for sparking removalist and preservationist controversy. The authors focus on the example of Confederate monuments in the US as, on the basis of racist impacts, these monuments are candidates for widespread removal. The authors review influential existing philosophical arguments aimed at clarifying this controversy. In this, they draw attention to an especially promising formulation of a moral harm argument. The authors improve upon this argument by offering an educationally sensitive civic harm argument. In this, they advance a view of limited compatibility between removalist and preservationist aims.
Winston C. Thompson is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy (by courtesy) at The Ohio State University. Thompson’s scholarship explores ethical, moral, and political dimensions of educational policy and practice. Timothy J. Barczak is a doctoral student at The Ohio State University studying the philosophy and history of education. Barczak is exploring questions surrounding communication and the civic, political, and economic aims of education relative to their impacts on democracy.
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