When is it legitimate to use images in moral arguments? The use of foetal imagery in anti-abortion campaigns as an exemplar of an illegitimate instance of a legitimate practice

Philosophy and Social Criticism 41 (2):179-195 (2015)
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Abstract

We aim to interrogate when the use of images in moral persuasion is legitimate. First, we put forward a number of accounts which purport to show that we can use tools other than logical argumentation to convince others, that such tools evoke affective responses and that these responses have authority in the moral domain. Second, we turn to Sarah McGrath’s account, which focuses on the use of imagery as a means to morally persuade. McGrath discusses 4 objections to the use of imagery, and outlines responses that may be used to legitimate the use of imagery in moral arguments. Assuming that we accept her account and that the invocation of affect has authority in the moral domain, we, using McGrath’s responses, examine whether the use of foetal imagery in anti-abortion campaigns is a legitimate instance of this practice

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Lindsay Kelland
Rhodes University

Citations of this work

Visual Arguments and Moral Causes in Charity Advertising: Ethical Considerations.Ioana Grancea - 2015 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 2 (2):167-185.

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The Rationality of Emotion.Ronald DE SOUSA - 1987 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 22 (4):302-303.

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