David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):435 – 456 (2007)
Recently, several philosophers have recast feminist arguments against pornography in terms of Speech Act Theory. In particular, they have considered the ways in which the illocutionary force of pornographic speech serves to set the conventions of sexual discourse while simultaneously silencing the speech of women, especially during unwanted sexual encounters. Yet, this raises serious questions as to how pornographers could (i) be authorities in the language game of sex, and (ii) set the conventions for sexual discourse - questions which these speech act-theoretic arguments against pornography have thus far failed to adequately answer. I fill in this gap of the argumentation by demonstrating that there are fairly weak standards for who counts as an authority or convention-setter in sexual discourse. With this analysis of the underpinnings of a speech act analysis of pornography in mind, I discuss a range of possible objections. I conclude that (i) the endorsement of censorship by a speech act analysis of pornography competes with its commitment to the conventionality of speech acts, and, more damningly, that (ii), recasting anti-pornography arguments in terms of linguistic conventions risks an unwitting defence of a rapist's lack of mens rea - an intolerable result; and yet resisting this conclusion requires that one back away from the original claim to women's voices being 'silenced'.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
David Lewis (1969). Convention: A Philosophical Study. Harvard University Press.
Stephen R. Schiffer (1972). Meaning. Oxford,Clarendon Press.
Rae Langton (1993). Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts. Philosophy and Public Affairs 22 (4):293-330.
Rae Langton & Jennifer Hornsby (1998). Free Spech and Illocution. Legal Theory 4 (1):21-37.
Citations of this work BETA
Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan (2010). On Silencing, Rape, and Responsibility. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):167 – 172.
Claudia Bianchi (2008). Indexicals, Speech Acts and Pornography. Analysis 68 (300):310-316.
Mary Kate McGowan, Ilana Walder‐Biesanz, Morvareed Rezaian & Chloe Emerson (2016). On Silencing and Systematicity: The Challenge of the Drowning Case. Hypatia 31 (1):74-90.
Mary Kate Mcgowan, Alexandra Adelman, Sara Helmers & Jacqueline Stolzenberg (2011). A Partial Defense of Illocutionary Silencing. Hypatia 26 (1):132 - 149.
Angela Grünberg (2014). Saying and Doing: Speech Actions, Speech Acts and Related Events. European Journal of Philosophy 22 (2):173-199.
Similar books and articles
Audrey Rogers, Playing Hide and Seek: How to Protect Virtual Pornographers and Actual Children on the Internet.
Ishani Maitra (2009). Silencing Speech. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):pp. 309-338.
Lynne Tirrell (1999). Pornographic Subordination: How Pornography Silences Women. In Claudia F. Card (ed.), Feminist Ethics and Politics. University Press of Kansas
Mari Mikkola (2008). Contexts and Pornography. Analysis 68 (300):316-320.
Mari Mikkola (2011). Illocution, Silencing and the Act of Refusal. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (3):415-437.
Mary Kathryn McGowan (2005). On Pornography: Mackinnon, Speech Acts, and "False" Construction. Hypatia 20 (3):22-49.
Daniel I. A. Cohen (1994). The Hate That Dare Not Speak its Name: Pornography Qua Semi-Political Speech. [REVIEW] Law and Philosophy 13 (2):195 - 239.
Melinda Vadas (1992). The Pornography / Civil Rights Ordinance V. The BOG: And the Winner Is...? Hypatia 7 (3):94 - 109.
Nicole Wyatt (2009). Failing to Do Things with Words. Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):135-142.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads93 ( #46,180 of 1,911,814 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #82,235 of 1,911,814 )
How can I increase my downloads?