Workshop on Stones and Lives: The Ethics of Protecting Heritage in War

May 22, 2024 - May 23, 2024
DEREE - American College of Greece



  • Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace
  • The Open University

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The destruction of heritage in war has attracted considerable attention in recent years. In response, heritage organisations urge the development and better implementation of international laws on heritage protection. In their new book, Stones and Lives: The Ethics of Protecting Heritage in War (OUP, 2024), Helen Frowe and Derek Matravers argue that any such laws or policies will require combatants to choose between safeguarding heritage and safeguarding other goods, including human life. It thus rejects the view, common among heritage professionals, that the apparent choice between protecting heritage and protecting lives presents a false dichotomy. Drawing on contemporary work on the ethics of war, Frowe and Matravers develop an account of the permissible protection of heritage in war. Amongst other things, they consider the different ways in which heritage might contribute to individual flourishing, the role of consent in justifying the imposition of risk on combatants and civilians, the permissibility of forcefully defending heritage and what, if anything, could compensate for the loss of heritage in war. The result is a novel, restrictive account that challenges the current trend of calling for the greater protection of heritage in war. This interdisciplinary workshop will bring together philosophers and researchers in cognate disciplines to discuss the themes and claims of the book.



Helen Frowe (Philosophy, Stockholm University) Derek Matravers (Philosophy, Open University) Ruth Young (Archaeology, University of Leicester) Cécile Fabre (Philosophy, Oxford University) Ammar Azzouz (Geography and the Environment, Oxford University) Shuk Ying Chan (Political Science, University College, London) Roger O’Keefe (Law, University of Boccini) Andreas Carlsson (Philosophy, Inland Norwegian University) Gerald Lang (Philosophy, Leeds University) Paul Newson (History and Archaeology, American University of Beirut) Daniel Schwartz (Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) David Garrard (Built Environment, Oxford Brookes).

The workshop is open to all and free to attend. However numbers are limited, so participants must register in advance via SCEWP’s website not later than the 7th of May. The workshop papers will engage directly with the book, which will be made available to all registered participants. All enquiries to [email protected] . 

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May 7, 2024, 9:00am EET

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#Heritage; Ethics of War