Analytic Philosophy 60 (4):405-417 (2019)

Aidan McGlynn
University of Edinburgh
In this paper, I develop two criticisms of Miranda Fricker’s attempt to offer an interpretation of MacKinnon’s claim that pornography silences women that conceives of the silencing in question as an extreme form of testimonial injustice. The intended contrast is with the speech act theoretical model of silencing familiar from Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby, who appeal to MacKinnon’s claim to argue against the standard liberal line on pornography, which takes a permissive stance to be demanded by a right to freedom of speech. Fricker’s alternative suggestion is that women are the victims of ‘an especially acute form of testimonial injustice’, due to the kind of dehumanizing bad sexual ideology peddled in much pornography. Fricker suggests that both notions of silencing are coherent possibilities, but that ‘the epistemic model describes the more empirically likely possibility, simply because it requires less erosion of women’s human status before the silencing effect kicks in’. I question the truth of this advertised advantage of Fricker’s epistemic account of silencing, but also its relevance to philosophical debates about pornography and silencing. Second, I raise a concern about theorizing about sexual refusal as a kind of testimony, as Fricker does.
Keywords epistemic injustice  pornography  silencing  dehumanization
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/phib.12152
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
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

Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
[Book Review] the Racial Contract. [REVIEW]Charles W. Mills - 1997 - Social Theory and Practice 25 (1):155-160.
White Ignorance.Charles Mills - 2007 - In Shannon Sullivan & Nancy Tuana (eds.), Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance. Albany, NY: State Univ of New York Pr. pp. 11-38.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Are "Epistemic" and "Communicative" Models of Silencing in Conflict?Leo Townsend & Dina Lupin Townsend - 2021 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (10):27-32.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Testimonial Smothering and Pornography.Rosa Vince - 2018 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 4 (3).
Testimonial Injustice Without Credibility Deficit.Federico Luzzi - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):203-211.
Pejoratives and Testimonial Injustice.Julija Perhat - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (2):145-154.
Testimonial Injustice and Mindreading.Krista Hyde - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (4):858-873.
Testimonial Injustice in International Criminal Law.Shannon Fyfe - 2018 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 5 (2):155-171.
Epistemic Injustice and Epistemic Trust.Gloria Origgi - 2012 - Social Epistemology 26 (2):221-235.
Argumentative Injustice.Patrick Bondy - 2010 - Informal Logic 30 (3):263-278.
Sincerity Silencing.Mary Kate Mcgowan - 2014 - Hypatia 29 (2):458-473.


Added to PP index

Total views
155 ( #74,451 of 2,498,533 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
23 ( #37,624 of 2,498,533 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes