This article examines the philosophical issues that arise when preserving urban geological sites or urban geosites. These are preserved not only because of their geological value but also because of aesthetic, cultural, and economic reasons. To do so, it examines the geosite constituted by Olot and its surroundings, a city in Spain that extends amid four dormant volcanoes. It explores the metaphysical paradox that these geosites have become what they are due to the preservation of destruction: humancaused interventions, mostly extraction of materials and exploitation of the land, are precisely what made these geosites visible as sites worth preserving and determining their metaphysical status. It further explores the preservation criteria and shows how they have determined the status of the geosite. Second, it shows how in such urban geosites the collapse of two diametrically opposed conceptions of time – the geological eon and the lived human time – occurs. Lastly, it discusses aesthetic aspects of such geosites by considering aesthetic experience as a primarily cognitive endeavor and shows how metaphysical, epistemological, and aesthetic issues of preservation of geosites are inextricably linked.
Capdevila-Werning, R. (2020). Preserving Destruction: Philosophical Issues of Urban Geosites, Open Philosophy, 3(1), 550-565. doi: https://doi.org/10.1515/opphil-2020-0137
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