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Propaganda and the Authority of Pornography

McGlynn, Aidan N. (2016) Propaganda and the Authority of Pornography. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 31 (3). pp. 329-343. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

Jason Stanley’s How Propaganda Works characterises and explores one democratically problematic kind of propaganda, ‘undermining propaganda’, which involves ‘[a] contribution to public discourse that is presented as an embodiment of certain ideals, yet is of a kind that tends to erode those very ideals’. Stanley’s model for how undermining propaganda functions is Rae Langton and Caroline West’s treatment of moves in pornographic language games. However, Stanley doesn’t consider whether his theory of propaganda might in turn illuminate the harmful nature of pornography, in light of the familiar contention that some pornography acts as a kind of misogynistic propaganda. Drawing on Catharine MacKinnon's writings on pornography, this paper will explore one way of developing the claim thatpornography sometimes functions as undermining propaganda, in something close to Stanley’s sense. Moreover, I will suggest that the discussion points to a new response to the so-called authority problem for Rae Langton’s silencing argument against the protected status of pornography.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
McGlynn, Aidan N.amcglynn@staffmail.ed.ac.uk
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: propaganda; pornography; ideology; silencing; authority
Subjects: General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
Specific Sciences > Sociology
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2016 23:32
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 23:32
Item ID: 12636
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: http://www.ehu.eus/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/v...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.16376
Subjects: General Issues > Rhetoric of Science
Specific Sciences > Sociology
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 1 September 2016
Page Range: pp. 329-343
Volume: 31
Number: 3
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12636

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