Pornography and accommodation

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (8):830-860 (2021)
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ABSTRACT In ‘Scorekeeping in a Pornographic Language Game’, Rae Langton and Caroline West borrow ideas from David Lewis to attempt to explain how pornography might subordinate and silence women. Pornography is supposed to express certain misogynistic claims implicitly, through presupposition, and to convey them indirectly, through accommodation. I argue that the appeal to accommodation cannot do the sort of work Langton and West want it to do: Their case rests upon an overly simplified model of that phenomenon. I argue further that, once we are clear about why Langton and West's account fails, a different and more plausible account of pornography's influence emerges.

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Richard Kimberly Heck
Brown University


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