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Mary Kate McGowan
Wellesley College
  1. On Racist Hate Speech and the Scope of a Free Speech Principle.Mary Kate McGowan & Ishani Maitra - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 23 (2):343-372.
    In this paper, we argue that to properly understand our commitment to a principle of free speech, we must pay attention to what should count as speech for the purposes of such a principle. We defend the view that ‘speech’ here should be a technical term, with something other than its ordinary sense. We then offer a partial characterization of this technical sense. We contrast our view with some influential views about free speech , and show that our view has (...)
     
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  2. Oppressive Speech.Mary Kate McGowan - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):389 – 407.
    I here present two different models of oppressive speech. My interest is not in how speech can cause oppression, but in how speech can actually be an act of oppression. As we shall see, a particular type of speech act, the exercitive, enacts permissibility facts. Since oppressive speech enacts permissibility facts that oppress, speech must be exercitive in order for it to be an act of oppression. In what follows, I distinguish between two sorts of exercitive speech acts (the standard (...)
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  3.  89
    Conversational Exercitives and the Force of Pornography.Mary Kate Mcgowan - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (2):155-189.
  4. On 'Whites Only' Signs and Racist Hate Speech: Verbal Acts of Racial Discrimination.Mary Kate McGowan - 2012 - In Mary Kate McGowan Ishani Maitra (ed.), Speech and harm: Controversies over Free Speech. Oxford University Press.
  5. On Silencing, Rape, and Responsibility.Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):167 – 172.
    In a recent article in this journal, Nellie Wieland argues that silencing in the sense put forward by Rae Langton and Jennifer Hornsby has the unpalatable consequence of diminishing a rapist's responsibility for the rape. We argue both that Wieland misidentifies Langton and Hornsby's conception of silencing, and that neither Langton and Hornsby's actual conception, nor the one that Wieland attributes to them, in fact generates this consequence.
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  6. On Pornography: MacKinnon, Speech Acts, and "False" Construction.Mary Kate McGowan - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):22 - 49.
    Although others have focused on Catharine MacKinnon's claim that pornography subordinates and silences women, I here focus on her claim that pornography constructs women's nature and that this construction is, in some sense, false. Since it is unclear how pornography, as speech, can construct facts and how constructed facts can nevertheless be false, MacKinnon's claim requires elucidation. Appealing to speech act theory, I introduce an analysis of the erroneous verdictive and use it to make sense of MacKinnon's constructionist claims. I (...)
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  7.  86
    The Limits of Free Speech: Pornography and the Question of Coverage.Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan - 2007 - Legal Theory 13 (1):41-68.
    Many liberal societies are deeply committed to freedom of speech. This commitment is so entrenched that when it seems to come into conflict with other commitments (e.g., gender equality), it is often argued that the commitment to speech must trump the other commitments. In this paper, we argue that a proper understanding of our commitment to free speech requires being clear about what should count as speech for these purposes. On the approach we defend, should get a special, technical sense, (...)
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  8.  85
    Sincerity Silencing.Mary Kate Mcgowan - 2014 - Hypatia 29 (2):458-473.
    Catharine MacKinnon claims that pornography silences women in a way that violates the right to free speech. This claim is, of course, controversial, but if it is correct, then the very free speech reasons for protecting pornography appear also to afford reason to restrict it. For this reason, it has gained considerable attention. The philosophical literature thus far focuses on a type of silencing identified and analyzed by Jennifer Hornsby and Rae Langton (H&L). This article identifies, analyzes, and argues for (...)
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  9. Conversational Exercitives: Something Else We Do with Our Words.Mary Kate Mcgowan - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (1):93-111.
    In this paper, I present a new (i.e., previously overlooked) breed of exercitive speech act (the conversational exercitive). I establish that any conversational contribution that invokes a rule of accommodation changes the bounds of conversational permissibility and is therefore an (indirect) exercitive speech act. Such utterances enact permissibility facts without expressing the content of such facts, without the speaker intending to be enacting such facts and without the hearer recognizing that it is so. Because of the peculiar nature ofthe rules (...)
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  10.  99
    Debate: On Silencing and Sexual Refusal.Mary Kate McGowan - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (4):487-494.
  11.  69
    A Partial Defense of Illocutionary Silencing.Mary Kate Mcgowan, Alexandra Adelman, Sara Helmers & Jacqueline Stolzenberg - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (1):132 - 149.
    Catharine MacKinnon has pioneered a new brand of anti-pornography argument. In particular, MacKinnon claims that pornography silences women in a way that violates their right to free speech. In what follows, we focus on a certain account of silencing put forward by Jennifer Hornsby and Rae Langton, and we defend that account against two important objections. The first objection contends that this account makes a crucial but false assumption about the necessary role of hearer recognition in successful speech acts. In (...)
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  12.  62
    Speech and Harm: Controversies Over Free Speech.Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan (eds.) - 2012 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This volume draws on a range of approaches in order to explore the problem and determine what ought to be done about allegedly harmful speech.Most liberal societies are deeply committed to a principle of free speech. At the same time, however, there is evidence that some kinds of speech are harmful in ways that are detrimental to important liberal values, such as social equality. Might a genuine commitment to free speech require that we legally permit speech even when it is (...)
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  13. The Ethics of Free Speech.Mary Kate McGowan & Ishani Maitra - 2007 - Legal Theory 13 (1):41-68.
     
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  14.  1
    On Pornography: MacKinnon, Speech Acts, and “False” Construction.Mary Kate Mcgowan - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):22-49.
    Although others have focused on Catharine MacKinnon's claim that pornography subordinates and silences women, I here focus on her claim that pornography constructs women's nature and that this construction is, in some sense, false. Since it is unclear how pornography, as speech, can construct facts and how constructed facts can nevertheless be false, MacKinnon's claim requires elucidation. Appealing to speech act theory, I introduce an analysis of the erroneous verdictive and use it to make sense of MacKinnon's constructionist claims. I (...)
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  15. Gruesome Connections.Mary Kate McGowan - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (206):21-33.
    It is widely recognized that Goodman's grue example demonstrates that the rules for induction, unlike those for deduction, cannot be purely syntactic. Ways in which Goodman's proof generalizes, however, are not widely recognized. Gruesome considerations demonstrate that neither theories of simplicity nor theories of empirical confirmation can be purely syntactic. Moreover, the grue paradox can be seen as an instance of a much more general phenomenon. All empirical investigations require semantic constraints, since purely structural constraints are inadequate. Both Russell's theory (...)
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  16.  56
    “On Indirect Speech Acts and Linguistic Communication: A Response to Bertolet”.Mary Kate McGowan, Shan Shan Tam & Margaret Hall - 2009 - Philosophy 84 (4):495-513.
    Suppose a diner says, 'Can you pass the salt?' Although her utterance is literally a question (about the physical abilities of the addressee), most would take it as a request (that the addressee pass the salt). In such a case, the request is performed indirectly by way of directly asking a question. Accordingly this utterance is known as an indirect speech act. On the standard account of such speech acts, a single utterance constitutes two distinct speech acts. On this account (...)
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  17.  4
    “On Indirect Speech Acts and Linguistic Communication: A Response to Bertolet”1: McGowan, Tam and Hall.Mary Kate Mcgowan - 2009 - Philosophy 84 (4):495-513.
    Suppose a diner says, ‘Can you pass the salt?’ Although her utterance is literally a question, most would take it as a request. In such a case, the request is performed indirectly by way of directly asking a question. Accordingly this utterance is known as an indirect speech act. On the standard account of such speech acts, a single utterance constitutes two distinct speech acts. On this account then, ‘Can you pass the salt?’ is both a question and a request. (...)
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  18.  39
    On Silencing and Systematicity: The Challenge of the Drowning Case.Mary Kate McGowan, Ilana Walder‐Biesanz, Morvareed Rezaian & Chloe Emerson - 2016 - Hypatia 31 (1):74-90.
    Silencing is a speech-related harm. We here focus on one particular account of silencing offered by Jennifer Hornsby and Rae Langton. According to this account, silencing is systematically generated, illocutionary-communicative failure. We here raise an apparent challenge to that account. In particular, we offer an example—the drowning case—that meets these conditions of silencing but does not intuitively seem to be an instance of it. First, we explore several conditions one might add to the Hornsby-Langton account, but we argue that none (...)
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  19.  41
    The Neglected Controversy Over Metaphysical Realism.Mary Kate McGowan - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (1):5-21.
    In what follows, I motivate and clarify the controversy over metaphysical realism (the claim that there is a single objective way that the world is) by defending it against two objections. A clear understanding of why these objections are misguided goes a considerable distance in illuminating the complex and controversial nature of m-realism. Once the complex thesis is defined, some objections to it are considered. Since m-realism is such a complex and controversial thesis, it cannot legitimately be treated as inevitable (...)
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  20.  85
    The Metaphysics of Squaring Scientific Realism with Referential Indeterminacy.Mary Kate Mcgowan - 1999 - Erkenntnis 50 (1):83-90.
  21. Review: Seana Valentine Shiffrin, Speech Matters: On Lying, Morality, and the Law. [REVIEW]Mary Kate McGowan - 2016 - Ethics 126 (2):536-541.
     
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  22.  38
    Realism, Reference and Grue (Why Metaphysical Realism Cannot Solve the Grue Paradox).Mary Kate McGowan - 2003 - American Philosophical Quarterly 40 (1):47 - 57.
  23.  16
    Logic by Laurence Goldstein, Andrew Brennan, Max Deutsch and Joe Y.F. Lau.Mary Kate Mcgowan - 2006 - Philosophical Books 47 (3):272-273.
  24.  27
    Privileging Properties.Mary Kate McGowan - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 105 (1):1-23.
    The idea that the world is human construction is fairly familiar and generally disparaged. One version of this claim is partially defendedhere. This subjectivist thesis concerns a debate about the objectivityof rightness of categorization. A problem about the discriminatoryrole of properties is both presented and motivated. The subjectivistthesis is articulated and defended against two powerful objections.Finally, this thesis is shown to be conceptually independent ofboth verificationism and empirical idealism.
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  25.  21
    Review of Rae Langton, Sexual Solipsism: Philosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification[REVIEW]Mary Kate McGowan - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (6).
  26.  8
    Shiffrin, Seana Valentine. Speech Matters: On Lying, Morality, and the Law.Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014. Pp. 234. $35.00. [REVIEW]Mary Kate McGowan - 2016 - Ethics 126 (2):536-541.
  27.  7
    Book Review: Denise Riley. Impersonal Passion: Language as Affect. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005. [REVIEW]Mary Kate McGowan - 2006 - Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 21 (4):221-224.
  28.  15
    Book Review: Denise Riley. Impersonal Passion: Language as Affect. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005. [REVIEW]Mary Kate McGowan - 2006 - Hypatia 21 (4):221-224.
  29.  10
    A World of States of Affairs D. M. Armstrong New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997, Xiii + 285 Pp., $54.95, $19.95 Paper. [REVIEW]Mary Kate McGowan - 1999 - Dialogue 38 (3):662-.
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  30.  4
    Book Review:Reading Putnam Peter Clark, Bob Hale. [REVIEW]Mary Kate McGowan - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (2):372-.
  31. A World of States of Affairs. [REVIEW]Mary Kate Mcgowan - 1999 - Dialogue 38 (3):662-663.
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  32. Just Words: On Speech and Hidden Harm.Mary Kate McGowan - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    We all know that speech can be harmful. But how? Mary Kate McGowan argues that speech constitutes harm when it enacts a norm that prescribes that harm. She investigates such harms as oppression, subordination, and discrimination in such forms of speech as sexist remarks, racist hate speech, pornography, verbal triggers, and micro-aggressions.
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