Silence and responsibility

Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):189–208 (2004)
In this paper, I shall be concerned with the phenomenon that has been labeled silencing in some of the recent philosophical literature. A speaker who is silenced in this sense is unable to make herself understood, even though her audience hears every word she utters. For instance, consider a woman who says “No”, intending to refuse sex. Her audience fails to recognize her intention to refuse, because he thinks that women tend to be insincere, and to not say what they really mean, especially in sexual situations.1 This speaker’s utterance then goes astray in the manner that constitutes silencing in my sense. Regarding this phenomenon, philosophers such as Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby have argued, first, that women are particularly liable to be thus affected, i.e., silenced; second, that, as a result of this silencing, they are systematically disadvantaged; and third, that pornography is responsible for this silencing.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 13,012
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Mary Kate McGowan (2009). Debate: On Silencing and Sexual Refusal. Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (4):487-494.
Similar books and articles
Ishani Maitra (2009). Silencing Speech. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):pp. 309-338.
Mari Mikkola (2011). Illocution, Silencing and the Act of Refusal. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (3):415-437.
Alexander Bird (2002). Illocutionary Silencing. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (1):1–15.
Rae Langton (2007). Disenfranchised Silence. In Michael Smith, Robert Goodin & Geoffrey Geoffrey (eds.), Common Minds. Oxford. 199.
By Jeffrey Seidman (2005). Two Sides of 'Silencing'. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (218):68–77.
Jeffrey Seidman (2005). Two Sides of 'Silencing'. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (218):68 - 77.
Nicole Wyatt (2009). Failing to Do Things with Words. Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):135-142.
Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan (2010). On Silencing, Rape, and Responsibility. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):167 – 172.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

33 ( #61,321 of 1,410,136 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #57,864 of 1,410,136 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.