Cultural heritage, genocide and normative agency

Rasa Davidaviciute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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In this article, I explore the possibility of treating cultural destruction and the destruction of cultural heritage as a genocidal act. My argument proceeds in two stages. I first suggest that we ought to view cultural destruction as a necessary by‐product of genocide and a member of a set of jointly sufficient conditions for genocide. However, to securely establish that cultural destruction and the destruction of cultural heritage ought to be viewed as genocidal acts, we need to additionally show why loss of culture and heritage are significant harms, comparable to other instances of genocide. In light of this, I then propose an account of the harms of cultural destruction that grounds these harms in loss of normative agency and show how destruction of cultural heritage contributes to this. In particular, I argue that cultural heritage can be viewed both as a condition for normative agency and as itself an expression of normative agency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12473
Pages (from-to)559-614
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Issue number4
Early online date8 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2021


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