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Liberty and Pornography : An Examination of the Use of John Stuart Mill in Pro-Censorship Feminist Arguments

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Title: Liberty and Pornography : An Examination of the Use of John Stuart Mill in Pro-Censorship Feminist Arguments
Authors: White, Amy Browse this author
Keywords: Pornography
John Stuart Mill
Issue Date: Sep-2013
Publisher: 北海道大学大学院文学研究科応用倫理研究教育センター
Journal Title: Journal of applied ethics and philosophy
Volume: 5
Start Page: 18
End Page: 24
Abstract: The freedom to create and disseminate pornography has often been defended based on a liberal claim that the free speech of pornographers would be violated if pornography were censored. The classic defense of free speech, given by John Stuart Mill, is often invoked to defend this position. In opposition, many feminist theorists have advocated arguments for regulatory measures against pornography. Some of these authors have also utilized the writings of Mill. They have argued that, contrary to the liberal defense of free speech, Mill’s arguments are compatible with, or even require, the forced regulation of pornography. Logically, unless Mill’s writings are contradictory, they should not be invoked to support diametrically opposed positions. This paper investigates this apparent dilemma and argues that, contrary to the antipornography feminist position, Mill’s writings do not support pornography regulation. In fact, in a surprising twist, the arguments of anti-pornography feminists can, using the writings of Mill, be seen as strongly supporting the liberal anti-censorship position.
Type: bulletin (article)
Appears in Collections:Journal of Applied Ethics and Philosophy > vol. 5

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