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  1. Does Pornography Presuppose Rape Myths?Richard Kimberly Heck - manuscript
    Rae Langton and Caroline West have argued that pornography silences women by presupposing misogynistic attitudes, such as that women enjoy being raped. More precisely, they claim that a somewhat infamous pictorial, “Dirty Pool”, makes such presuppositions. I argue for four claims. (i) Langton and West's account of how pornography silences women is empirically dubious. (ii) There is no evidence that very much pornography makes the sorts of presuppositions they require. (iii) Even "Dirty Pool", for all its other problems, does not (...)
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  2. Effects of Porn: A Critical Analysis.Rory Collins - forthcoming - 1890: A Journal of Undergraduate Research.
    The impacts of pornography are varied and complex. Performers are often thought to be victims of abuse and exploitation, while viewers are regularly accused of becoming desensitised to sexual violence. Further, porn is held by some to perpetuate damaging racial and gender stereotypes. I contend that these accusations, though not entirely baseless, are undermined for two reasons: they rest on questionable empirical evidence and ignore many of the positive consequences porn may have. In this article, I organise my analysis from (...)
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  3. More Than a Case of Mistaken Identity: Adult Entertainment and the Making of Early Sexology.Sarah Bull - 2021 - History of the Human Sciences 34 (1):10-39.
    Sexology emerged as a discipline during a period of keen concern about the social effects of sexually explicit media. In this context, sex researchers and their allies took pains to establish the respectability of their work, a process that often involved positioning sexual science in opposition to erotic literature and images. This article argues that this presentation of sexual science obfuscated sex researchers’ complex relationship with erotic print culture, which during the late 19th and early 20th centuries provided sexual scientists (...)
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  4. Adolescent desires. Between teen dramas, online pornography and sexual fluidity.Giuseppe Burgio - 2021 - ENCYCLOPAIDEIA 25 (61):43-52.
    Through the analysis of the contents of the most recent and popular teen dramas, of the diffusion of online pornography and of data from surveys on adolescent sexuality, we hypothesise how today's adolescents live an increasingly carefree sexual behaviour with respect to the choice of sexual objects, more free from ethical and social norms, in a completely changed relationship with an adult world no longer seen as a more or less controversial reference point. This panorama urges us to renew the (...)
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  5. Pornography and Speech Act Theory – An In-Depth Survey.Áron Dombrovszki - 2021 - Elpis 14 (1):9-26.
    Considering the short history of the feminist philosophy of language, Rae Langton’s article “Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts” was highly influential as one of the first positive research programs in the movement. In that paper, Langton – using John L. Austin’s speech act theory – tries to interpret Catharine MacKinnon’s thesis: pornography is a speech that subordinates and silences women. Despite the importance of the subject, those unfamiliar with certain historical and contextual features of the topic would hardly understand it. (...)
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  6. How Not To Watch Feminist Pornography.Richard Kimberly Heck - 2021 - Feminist Philosophical Quarterly 7 (1):Article 3.
    This paper has three goals. The first is to defend Tristan Taromino and Erika Lust (or some of their films) from criticisms that Rebecca Whisnant and Hans Maes make of them. Toward that end, I will be arguing against the narrow conceptions that Whisnant and Maes have of what `feminist' pornography must be like. More generally, I hope to show by example why it is important to take pornographic films seriously as films if we're to understand their potential to shape, (...)
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  7. Pornography and Accommodation.Richard Kimberly Heck - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (8):830-860.
    ABSTRACT In ‘Scorekeeping in a Pornographic Language Game’, Rae Langton and Caroline West borrow ideas from David Lewis to attempt to explain how pornography might subordinate and silence women. Pornography is supposed to express certain misogynistic claims implicitly, through presupposition, and to convey them indirectly, through accommodation. I argue that the appeal to accommodation cannot do the sort of work Langton and West want it to do: Their case rests upon an overly simplified model of that phenomenon. I argue further (...)
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  8. Blurred Lines: How Fictional is Pornography?Aidan McGlynn - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (4):e12721.
    Many pornographic works seem to count as works of fiction. This apparent fact has been thought to have important implications for ongoing controversies about whether some pornography carries problematic messages and so influences the attitudes (and perhaps even the behaviour) of its audience. In this paper, I explore the claim that pornographic works are fictional and the significance that this claim has for these issues, with a particular focus on pornographic films. Two related morals will emerge. First, we need to (...)
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  9. Review of Alain Badiou, The Pornographic Age. [REVIEW]Ekin Erkan - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37.
    This review of Alain Badiou’s The Pornographic Age—as well of the essays included in the book by William Watkin, A.J. Bartlett and Justin Clemens—illuminates that this is one of the few, if not only, texts where Badiou reverses the operational directionality of the event qua category theory, so as to “dis-image” power. In doing so, Badiou provides a theory of power based on intentionality and relation, rather than the more common Foucauldian genealogic-historical methodologies so often co-opted by contemporary thinkers of (...)
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  10. Pornography and Dehumanization: The Essentialist Dimension.Eleonore Neufeld - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):703-717.
    The objective of this paper is to show that pornography dehumanizes women through essentialization. First, I argue that certain acts of subject-essentialization are acts of subject-dehumanization....
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  11. Moral Outrage Porn.C. Thi Nguyen & Bekka Williams - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (2).
    We offer an account of the generic use of the term “porn”, as seen in recent usages such as “food porn” and “real estate porn”. We offer a definition adapted from earlier accounts of sexual pornography. On our account, a representation is used as generic porn when it is engaged with primarily for the sake of a gratifying reaction, freed from the usual costs and consequences of engaging with the represented content. We demonstrate the usefulness of the concept of generic (...)
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  12. How to (Dis)Solve the Gamer’s Dilemma.Erick Jose Ramirez - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (1):1-21.
    The Gamer's Dilemma challenges us to find a distinction between virtual murder and virtual pedophilia. Without such a distinction, we are forced to conclude that either both are morally acceptable or that both should be morally illicit. This paper argues that the best way to solve the dilemma is, in one sense, to dissolve it. The Gamer's Dilemma rests on a misunderstanding in the sense that it does not distinguish between the form of a simulation and its surface content. A (...)
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  13. Pornography and Christology.Matthew John Paul Tan - 2020 - The Australasian Catholic Record 97 (3):312.
    This article results from the experimental convergence of five elements. Three of these are seemingly unrelated names: the Anglican philosopher John Milbank, the German critical theorist Walter Benjamin, and the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. The remaining two are themes that seem to have little relation to each other: the explosion of online pornography, which is making addicts of younger and younger users, and Christology or the study of the nature and work of the Second Person of the Trinity.
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  14. ‘Guilty’ Pleasures Are Often Worthwhile Pleasures.Brandon Cooke - 2019 - Journal of Scandinavian Cinema 9 (1):105-109.
    A guilty pleasure is something that affords pleasure while being held in low regard. Since there are more opportunities to experience worthwhile pleasures than one can experience in a finite life, it would be better to avoid guilty pleasures. Worse still, many guilty pleasures are thought to be corrupting in some way. In fact, many so-called guilty pleasures can contribute to a good life, because they are sources of pleasure and because they do not actually merit guilt. Taking pornography as (...)
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  15. Testimonial Injustice, Pornography, and Silencing.Aidan McGlynn - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (4):405-417.
    In this paper, I develop two criticisms of Miranda Fricker’s attempt to offer an interpretation of MacKinnon’s claim that pornography silences women that conceives of the silencing in question as an extreme form of testimonial injustice. The intended contrast is with the speech act theoretical model of silencing familiar from Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby, who appeal to MacKinnon’s claim to argue against the standard liberal line on pornography, which takes a permissive stance to be demanded by a right to (...)
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  16. Pornography Addiction: The Fabrication of a Transient Sexual Disease.Kris Taylor - 2019 - History of the Human Sciences 32 (5):56-83.
    While pornography addiction currently circulates as a comprehensible, diagnosable, and describable way to make sense of some people’s ostensibly problematic relationship with pornography, such a comprehensive description of this relationship has only recently been made possible. The current analysis makes visible pornography addiction as situated within a varied history of concerns about pornography, masturbation, fantasy, and technology in an effort to bring to bear a conceptual critique of the modern concept of pornography addiction. Such a critique in turn works to (...)
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  17. ‘It’s Just a Story’: Pornography, Desire, and the Ethics of Fictive Imagining.Christopher Bartel & Anna Cremaldi - 2018 - British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (1):37-50.
    Is it ever morally wrong for a consumer to imagine something immoral in a work of fiction, or for an author to prompt such imagining? Brandon Cooke has recently argued that it cannot be. On Cooke’s account, fictive imagining is immune to moral criticism because such cases of imagining do not amount to the endorsement of the immoral content, nor do they imply that the authors of such fictions necessarily endorse their contents. We argue against Cooke that in fact fictively (...)
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  18. A Liberal Anti-Porn Feminism?Alex Davies - 2018 - Social Theory and Practice 44 (1):21-48.
    In the 1980s and 1990s, a series of attempts were made to put into U.S. law a civil rights ordinance that would make it possible to sue the makers and distributors of pornography for doing so (under certain conditions). One defence of such legislation has come to be called "the free speech argument against pornography." Philosophers Rae Langton, Jennifer Hornsby and Caroline West have supposed that this defence of the legislation can function as a liberal defence of the legislation: in (...)
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  19. Jones, S. (2017) "The Origin of the Faeces: Ten Years of 2Girls1Cup", Porn Studies.Steve Jones - 2017 - Porn Studies 4 (4):473-476.
    On the ten year anniversary of 2Girls1Cup, this article examines the complex balance of shock, pleasure and disgust elicited by this viral video.
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  20. Is Pornography Like the Law?Rae Langton - 2017 - In Mari Mikkola (ed.), Beyond Speech: Pornography and Analytic Feminist Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 23-38.
  21. Nancy Bauer: Review of How to Do Things with Pornography: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 978–0–674–05520–9, 211 Pp, Hardback € 31,50. [REVIEW]Mari Mikkola - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):537-539.
  22. Pornography: Men Possessing Women. A Reassessment.Bob Brecher - 2015 - In eds H Marway and H Widdows, Women and Violence: the Agency of Victims and Perpetrators. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 145-161.
    For a few years in the 1980s, Andrea Dworkin’s Pornography: Men Possessing Women appeared to have changed the intellectual landscape – as well as some people’s lives. Pornography, she argued, not only constitutes violence against women; it constitutes also the main conduit for such violence, of which rape is at once the prime example and the central image. In short, it is patriarchy’s most powerful weapon. Given that, feminists’ single most important task is to deal with pornography. By the early (...)
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  23. Pornography Stumps Analytic Philosophers of Art.Ian Jarvie - 2015 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 45 (1):122-140.
    A book in which analytic philosophers examine the portrayal of sex in art and the possible artistic value of pornography proves a disappointment. Although a transcendental objection to pornographic art is rebutted, the papers employ barren philosophical methods that divert energy away from significant problems and into scholastic quibbles.
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  24. The Philosophy of Pornography: Contemporary Perspectives.Lindsay Coleman & Jacob M. Held (eds.) - 2014 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Even as it skirts mainstream contemporary culture, pornography remains a social taboo; there still exist strong biases both in favor and against it. With chapters addressing imagination, gender, power relationships, truth claims, aesthetics, and both pro and anti-porn slants, this book presents a balanced view of pornography in modern society.
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  25. How to Screw Things with Words.Lorna Finlayson - 2014 - Hypatia 29 (4):774-789.
    Since its influential rendering by Rae Langton in her 1993 paper, “Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts,” the “silencing argument” against pornography has become the subject of a lively debate that continues to this day. My intention in this paper is not to join in the existing debate, but to give a critical overview of it. In its current form, I suggest, it is going nowhere . Yet the silencing argument, I believe, nevertheless contains an indispensable insight—and more radical potential than (...)
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  26. Zombies and Sexuality: Essays on Desire and the Living Dead.Steve Jones & Shaka McGlotten (eds.) - 2014 - McFarland.
    Since the early 2000s, zombies have increasingly swarmed the landscape of popular culture, with ever more diverse representations of the undead being imagined. A growing number of zombie narratives have introduced sexual themes, endowing the living dead with their own sexual identity. The unpleasant idea of the sexual zombie is itself provocative, triggering questions about the nature of desire, sex, sexuality, and the politics of our sexual behaviors. However, the notion of zombie sex has been largely unaddressed in scholarship. -/- (...)
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  27. My Pornographic Development.Anna Arrowsmith - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 287.
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  28. Peter de Marneffe, Liberalism and Prostitution.Jeffrey A. Gauthier - 2013 - Social Theory and Practice 39 (1):171-178.
  29. Pornography as Symptom: Refocusing the Anti-Pornography Debate on Pornification and Sexualization.Jacob M. Held - 2013 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 20 (1):15-27.
    Anti-Porn activists have argued for decades that pom is discrimination, it hamis women as a class. The Pro-porn response has been to dismiss these concems, laud the First Amendment, or argue that pornography is a valuable contribution to society. The debate has progressed little beyond this stage. In this article, I argue that it is time to frame the pomography debate as a discussion on sexualized media in general. Recent research indicates that the negative results often attributed to hard-core pornography, (...)
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  30. Torture Porn: Popular Horror After Saw.Steve Jones - 2013 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Torture Porn is a term that has generated a great deal of controversy during the last decade, critics utilizing the term to dismiss contemporary popular horror cinema as obscene and morally depraved. Arguing primarily in defense of torture-themed horror films, this book seeks to offer a critical overview and examination of the Torture Porn phenomenon, discussing the generic contexts in which it is situated, scrutinizing press responses to the sub-genre, and offering narrative analyses of the sub-genre’s central films; including the (...)
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  31. The Fictional Character of Pornography.Shen-yi Liao & Sara Protasi - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 100-118.
    We refine a line of feminist criticism of pornography that focuses on pornographic works' pernicious effects. A.W. Eaton argues that inegalitarian pornography should be criticized because it is responsible for its consumers’ adoption of inegalitarian attitudes toward sex in the same way that other fictions are responsible for changes in their consumers’ attitudes. We argue that her argument can be improved with the recognition that different fictions can have different modes of persuasion. This is true of film and television: a (...)
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  32. Pornography at the Edge: Depiction, Fiction, & Sexual Predilection.Christy Mag Uidhir & Henry Pratt - 2013 - In Hans Maes & Jerrold Levinson (eds.), Art and Pornography: Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 137-160.
    The primary purpose of depictive works of pornography, we take it, is sexual arousal through sexually explicit representations; what we callprototypical pornography satisfies those aims through the adoption of a ceteris paribus maximally realistic depictive style. Given that the purpose of sexual arousal seems best fulfilled by establishing the most robust connections between the viewer and the depictive subject, we find it curious that not all works of pornography aspire to prototypical status. Accordingly, we target for philosophical scrutiny several non-standard (...)
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  33. Pornography, Art and Porno-Art.Mari Mikkola - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 27.
    Philosophers involved in the ‘porn-or-art’ debates standardly assume that pornography is centrally about sexual arousal, while art is about something else. I argue against this assumption and for the view that there is no single thing that pornography (or art) ‘is about’. This suggests that there is no prima facie reason for claiming that some x cannot be both pornography and art. I further go on to develop an understanding of (what I call) ‘porno-art’ - a wholly new kind of (...)
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  34. Derrida on Pornography: Putting (It) Up for Sale.Christopher Morris - 2013 - Derrida Today 6 (1):97-114.
    Over the past thirty years, academic debate over pornography in the discourses of feminism and cultural studies has foundered on questions of the performative and of the word's definition. In the polylogue of Droit de regards, pornography is defined as la mise en vente that is taking place in the act of exegesis in progress. (Wills's idiomatic English translation includes an ‘it’ that is absent in the French original). The definition in Droit de regards alludes to the word's etymology (writing (...)
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  35. A Pornographic Way of Seeing.Stephen Mumford - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 58.
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  36. The Pornography of Death.John Tercier - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 221.
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  37. Sheela-Na-Gig Again: The Birth of a New Style From the Spirit of Pornography.Stefan Trinks - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 162.
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  38. The Fluidity of Acceptability: Seduced by Art and Pornography and the Kinsey Institute Collection.Marina Wallace - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 274.
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  39. Pornography and Acting.Tzachi Zamir - 2013 - In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 75.
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  40. Pornographic Art - A Case From Definitions.Simon Fokt - 2012 - British Journal of Aesthetics 52 (3):287-300.
    On the whole, neither those who hold that pornography can never be art nor their opponents specify what they actually mean by ‘art’, even though it seems natural that their conclusions should vary depending on how the concept is understood. This paper offers a ‘definitional crossword’ and confronts some definitions of pornography with the currently most well-established definitions of art. My discussion shows that following any of the modern definitions entails that at least some pornography not only can be, but (...)
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  41. Dwelling In the House That Porn Built: A Phenomenological Critique of Pornography In the Age of Internet Technology.Justin L. Harmon - 2012 - Social Philosophy Today 28:115-130.
    This paper is a critique of pornography from within the framework of Heideggerian phenomenology. I contend that pornography is a pernicious form of technological discourse in which women are reduced to spectral and anonymous figures fulfilling a universal role, namely that of sexual subordination. Further, the danger of pornography is covered over in the public sphere as a result of the pervasive appeal to its status as mere fantasy. I argue that relegating the problem to the domain of fantasy is (...)
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  42. The Lexicon of Offense: The Meanings of Torture, Porn, and ‘Torture Porn”.Steve Jones - 2012 - In Feona Attwood, Ian Hunter, Vincent Campbell & Sharon Lockyear (eds.), Controversial Images: Media Representations on the Edge. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 186-200.
    Torture porn has been vilified on grounds that are at best unconvincing and at worst incoherent. The subgenre’s remonstrators too often ignore the content of the films themselves, and fail to make sufficiently detailed connections between the subgenre and the cultural sphere. Reactions to torture porn rarely consider what values the films apparently contravene, and why, if the films are offensive, they are simultaneously so popular. The central derisive mechanism in operation is the ill-conceived combination of ‘torture’ and ‘porn’ itself. (...)
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  43. Gender Monstrosity: Deadgirl and the Sexual Politics of Zombie-Rape.Steve Jones - 2012 - Feminist Media Studies 13 (4):525-539.
    Deadgirl (2008) is based around a group of male teens discovering and claiming ownership of a bound female zombie, using her as a sex slave. This narrative premise raises numerous tensions that are particularly amplified by using a zombie as the film's central victim. The Deadgirl is sexually passive yet monstrous, reifying the horrors associated with the female body in patriarchal discourses. She is objectified on the basis of her gender, and this has led many reviewers to dismiss the film (...)
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  44. Art and Pornography: Philosophical Essays.Hans Maes & Jerrold Levinson (eds.) - 2012 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Art and Pornography presents a series of essays which investigate the artistic status and aesthetic dimension of pornographic pictures, films, and literature, and explores the distinction, if there is any, between pornography and erotic art. Is there any overlap between art and pornography, or are the two mutually exclusive? If they are, why is that? If they are not, how might we characterize pornographic art or artistic pornography, and how might pornographic art be distinguished, if at all, from erotic art? (...)
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  45. Art and Pornography: Philosophical Essays.Hans Maes & Jerrold Levinson (eds.) - 2012 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Art and Pornography presents a series of essays which investigate the artistic status and aesthetic dimension of pornographic pictures, films, and literature, and explores the distinction, if there is any, between pornography and erotic art. Is there any overlap between art and pornography, or are the two mutually exclusive? If they are, why is that? If they are not, how might we characterize pornographic art or artistic pornography, and how might pornographic art be distinguished, if at all, from erotic art? (...)
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  46. Anti-Pornography.Bence Nanay - 2012 - In Hans Maes & Jerrold Levinson (eds.), Art and Pornography. Oxford University Press.
    One striking feature of pornographic images is that they emphasize what is depicted and underplay the way it is depicted: the experience of pornography rarely involves awareness of the picture’s composition or of visual rhyme. There are various ways of making this distinction between what is depicted in a picture and the way the depicted object is depicted in it. Following Richard Wollheim, I call these two aspects, the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of pictorial representation ‘recognitional’ and ‘configurational’, respectively. Some pictures (...)
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  47. Review of Abigail Levin, The Cost of Free Speech: Pornography, Hate Speech, and Their Challenge to Liberalism[REVIEW]Susan Dwyer - 2011 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011 (2).
  48. Pornography and Freedom.Danny Frederick - 2011 - Kritike 5 (2):84-95.
    I defend pornography as an important aspect of freedom of expression, which is essential for autonomy, self-development, the growth of knowledge and human flourishing. I rebut the allegations that pornography depraves and corrupts, degrades women, is harmful to children, exposes third parties to risk of offence or assault, and violates women ’s civil rights and liberties. I contend that suppressing pornography would have a range of unintended evil consequences, including loss of beneficial technology, creeping censorship, black markets, corruption and extensive (...)
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  49. Democracy and Pornography: On Speech, Rights, Privacies, and Pleasures in Conflict.Margret Grebowicz - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (1):150 - 165.
    This article investigates the intersections of secrecy/interiority, the state, and speech/ expression, and their implications for the rights of women. I propose a critique of commercial pornography that reanimates MacKinnon's claim that pornography and American democracy are in a relationship of mutual reinforcement, and incorporates poststructuralist (Lyotard, Baudrillard, and Butler) commitments to secrecy and unintelligibility, as well as their role in the production of pleasure.
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  50. Comments Onf Alan Soble's Pornography, Sex, and Feminism.Mane Hajdin - 2011 - In Adrianne Leigh McEvoy (ed.), Sex, Love, and Friendship: Studies of the Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love: 1993-2003. Rodopi.
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