We looked at 3 simple arguments concerning pornography, feminism, and
free speech--2 against pornography, and 1 for. They are reproduced
below; we will discuss them in detail in class.
1st Argument Against
(reproduced roughly from Longino's "Pornography, Oppression, and
Freedom: A Closer Look"):
Premise 1. If something is harmful or injurious to
people (or if can be shown to violate people in some way), then it is
Premise 2. Pornography is harmful or injurious to
people (or can be shown to violate them in some way).
Conclusion: Therefore, pornography is immoral.
Premise 1: Pornography is a form of speech.
Premise 2: Freedom of speech is protected by the
Conclusion: Pornography is protected by the First
2nd Argument Against
(reproduced roughly from Rae Langton's "Speech
Acts and Unspeakable Acts"
[JSTOR link] and Ishani Maitra's "Silencing Speech"
Premise 1: Pornography silences women.
Premise 2: A speaker who is silenced suffers an infringement of her
right to free speech.
Conclusion: Pornography infringes on a woman's right to free speech.
Page Last Updated;
November 16, 2006