‘Objectification’ and Obfuscation

Kritike 10 (2):173-90 (2016)
Martha Nussbaum attempts to improve the clarity of the obscure talk of feminists and conservatives about objectification in connection with sexual matters. Her discussion is a substantial improvement. However, it is inconsistent and opaque, and she continues to apply the pejorative term ‘objectification’ to activities which she herself admits are morally unproblematic and which may even be a joyous part of life. I explain the deficiencies in Nussbaum’s discussion, including the fact that she does not notice the one way of objectification that seems inherently problematic, and I show that casual sex, prostitution and pornography are normally not morally problematic even while they exhibit some of Nussbaum’s ways of objectification. The term ‘objectification’ should be eschewed because it is a barrier to clear thinking.
Keywords Objectification  Nussbaum  Prostitution  Pornography  Casual Sex  Using as a Means  Autonomy  Immanuel Kant  Fungibility  Violability
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 36,528
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

The Ethics of Sexual Objectification: Autonomy and Consent.Patricia Marino - 2008 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):345 – 364.
Sexual Objectification: From Kant to Contemporary Feminism.Evangelia Papadaki - 2007 - Contemporary Political Theory 6 (3):330-348.
What is Objectification?Lina Papadaki - 2010 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (1):16-36.
Nussbaum on Sexual Instrumentalization.Michael Plaxton - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (1):1-16.
Sexual Objectification.K. Stock - 2015 - Analysis 75 (2):191-195.
Subordination and Objectification.Ishani Maitra - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (1):87-100.
Conceptually Situating the Harm of Rape: An Analysis of Objectification.L. Kelland - 2011 - South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):168-183.
The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings.Alan Soble (ed.) - 2002 - Rowman & Littlefield.
Finding Love in the Kingdom of Ends.Nellie Wieland - 2011 - Jurisprudence 2 (2):417-423.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
53 ( #124,269 of 2,302,389 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #119,654 of 2,302,389 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature