My new paper, Monuments as Commitments: How Art Speaks to Groups and How Groups Think in Art, is forthcoming in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
The paper argues:
1. That there are some kinds of art that primarily *address groups*, rather than individuals.
2. That monuments are an example of such. And that they are often made by groups to address *themselves* – to commit themselves to a value. Monuments aren’t just memories, they are collective value commitments.
3. This has consequences for the “tear down the monuments” debate. Because if a monument isn’t just a historical memory, but the live commitment by a community to a value, to guide itself by…
4. That art makes it possible for groups and communities to commit themselves to subtle, emotional values.
5. That art is often a better vessel for collective value than shitty mission statements, explicit “learning outcomes”, and crappy corporate value statements.
6. That, in this way, art makes deeply emotional group agency possible.