Art or Porn: Clear division or false dilemma?

Philosophy and Literature 35 (1):51-64 (2011)
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Abstract

Jerrold Levinson conveniently summarizes the main argument of his essay "Erotic Art and Pornographic Pictures" in the following way:Erotic art consists of images centrally aimed at a certain sort of reception R1.Pornography consists of images centrally aimed at a certain sort of reception R2.R1 essentially involves attention to form/vehicle/medium/manner, and so entails treating images as in part opaque.R2 essentially excludes attention to form/vehicle/medium/manner, and so entails treating images as wholly transparent.R1 and R2 are incompatible.Hence, nothing can be both erotic art and pornography; or at the least, nothing can be coherently projected as both erotic art and pornography.1I have argued elsewhere ..

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Hans Maes
University of Kent

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