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Grayling’s Question

By AC Grayling   December 2008

Can the past entitle us to apologies, reparations or recognition today?

It is easy to suppose that history gives us our entitlements just as it tells us who we are. The land our forefathers occupied, the apologies due to us now for the harm done to them then, the works of art they made that are now in other people’s museums—all the sentiments involved here, and many more like them, are bequeathments of history. They are also the source of lingering resentments that can easily flare into conflict, of claims and counter-claims, of romantic yearnings and loyalties.

Consider: the desire…

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