The phenomenology of pornography

Law and Philosophy 16 (2):177-199 (1997)
Most people are familiar with Justice Stewart's now classic statement that while he cannot describe pornography, he certainly knows it when he sees it. We instantly identify with Justice Stewart. Pornography is not difficult to recognize, but it does elude description. This is because traditional attempts at description are attempts that seek to explain at either an abstract or empirical level rather than at the level that accounts for experience in its totality. Justice Stewart's lament represents the need to understand the subjective experience of pornography and cease trying to explain it in purely objective terms. Much feminist literature in general and Catharine MacKinnon's work in particular seeks to do just this. MacKinnon argues that pornography should not be explained in familiar First Amendment freedom -of-expression terms, but rather in terms of the actual sexual abuse it constitutes in experience. Then, and only then, are we able to select the appropriate legal remedy. This essay suggests that MacKinnon's position not only needs the support of a non-traditional philosophical approach, but has one readily available in the phenomenology of philosopher Edmund Husserl
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
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,188
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

62 ( #82,352 of 2,153,834 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #398,274 of 2,153,834 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums