International conservation codes ask practitioners to treat historical objects and buildings with ‘respect’. What does this mean? The question has received comparatively little theoretical treatment in conservation literature. Taking a philosophical stance on the issue, this paper suggests that we cannot grasp how respect delineates ethical obligations for professionals in the field if we do not unearth the sources of these obligations, i.e. what counts as respectful behaviour and to whom respect is owed in the first place. Questioning the widespread understanding of respect as ‘preservation of the object’s integrity’, it proposes a model in which respect is interpreted as a form of preservation of meaning. On this model, respect is directed not so much to the artefact itself, but to the person, community, or culture that take interest in it, those for whom the object is especially meaningful.

Giombini, L. (2021). Respect in Conservation Ethics. A Philosophical Inquiry. STUDIES IN CONSERVATION [10.1080/00393630.2021.1940797].

Respect in Conservation Ethics. A Philosophical Inquiry

Lisa Giombini
2021-01-01

Abstract

International conservation codes ask practitioners to treat historical objects and buildings with ‘respect’. What does this mean? The question has received comparatively little theoretical treatment in conservation literature. Taking a philosophical stance on the issue, this paper suggests that we cannot grasp how respect delineates ethical obligations for professionals in the field if we do not unearth the sources of these obligations, i.e. what counts as respectful behaviour and to whom respect is owed in the first place. Questioning the widespread understanding of respect as ‘preservation of the object’s integrity’, it proposes a model in which respect is interpreted as a form of preservation of meaning. On this model, respect is directed not so much to the artefact itself, but to the person, community, or culture that take interest in it, those for whom the object is especially meaningful.
Giombini, L. (2021). Respect in Conservation Ethics. A Philosophical Inquiry. STUDIES IN CONSERVATION [10.1080/00393630.2021.1940797].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/389271
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