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The Inaugural Lecture of Derek Matravers

Heritage in War: Protecting Cultural Property and Human Harm

Prof Derek Matravers
This event took place on 17th July 2018 at 6:00pm (17:00 GMT)
Berrill Lecture Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall Campus, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

In his inaugural lecture, Heritage in War: Protecting Cultural Property and Human Harm, Professor Matravers, will explore whether we should risk lives to protect historical buildings. He will go on to assess the values of buildings and our deeper obligation to not kill human beings.

As the UK recently ratified the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, the UK Military are now bound by the articles of this convention. As a result, failing to protect cultural property, or damaging it unless there is a military necessity to do so, is a war crime. Professor Matravers will explore the ethical dilemma around this which is bound up with ‘just war theory’, which goes back at least to medieval times.

Derek Matravers is Professor of Philosophy at The Open University. Before joining the OU, he was a research fellow at Darwin College Cambridge. He is the author of Art and Emotion, (OUP: 1998), Introducing Philosophy of Art In Eight Case Studies (Routledge: 2012), Fiction and Narrative (OUP: 2014), and Empathy (Polity: 2017). He has also published on aesthetics, ethics, mind, and politics.

Read what Professor Matravers says on OpenLearn about ‘just war theory’

Please do take the opportunity to have your questions answered by our speakers LIVE during the event by emailing:

The webcast was open to 3000 users

(65 minutes)