This collection of eleven new essays contains the latest developments in analytic feminist philosophy on the topic of pornography. While honoring early feminist work on the subject, it aims to go beyond speech act analyses of pornography and to reshape the philosophical discourse that surrounds pornography. A rich feminist literature on pornography has emerged since the 1980s, with Rae Langton's speech act theoretic analysis dominating specifically Anglo-American feminist philosophy on pornography. Despite the predominance of this literature, there remain considerable disagreements and precious little agreement on many key issues: What is pornography? Does pornography (as Langton argues) constitute women's subordination and silencing? Does it objectify women in harmful ways? Is pornography authoritative enough to enact women's subordination? Is speech act theory the best way to approach pornography? Given the deep divergences over these questions, the first goal of this collection is to take stock of extant debates in order to clarify key feminist conceptual and political commitments regarding pornography.
This volume further aims to go beyond the prevalent speech-acts approach to pornography, and to highlight novel issues in feminist pornography-debates, including the aesthetics of pornography, trans* identities and racialization in pornography, and putatively feminist pornography.
Mari Mikkola is Tutorial Fellow at Somerville College and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford. She works mainly on feminist philosophy, and specifically on feminist metaphysics, gender, and pornography. In addition, she has research interests in social ontology, broadly conceived.