Monday, 7 November 2005

Aldous Huxley on "ends and means"

When I was researching my MA dissertation, which, like my current work, was directed at resolving conflicts over cultural heritage, in this case, particularly resolving conflicts between economic human rights and cultural human rights, I learned that Aldous Huxley (1937: 9) had wisely observed that, "the end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced".

I remembered this because I just returned to it; I'm trying to respond to certain factual and interpretative questions asked and trying, too, to produce a publicly accessible version of it. It makes an argument that is controversial within archaeology and indeed within society, so I wanted to present it within the archaeological community first and then, refined with archaeologists' critiques, present it to the public.

Huxley, A. 1937: Ends and means: An enquiry into the nature of ideas and into the methods employed for their realisation. London: Chatto and Windus.

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