Speaker: Charlotte Figueroa (University of Oxford)
Title: The Distinction between Erotica and Pornography
Abstract: I will be defining the concepts of erotica (or erotic art) and pornography, and explaining the distinction between these two concepts. I will take an ameliorative approach in my analysis, as I am offering new definitions of these concepts instead of attempting to analyse the way the concepts are currently employed. The existing definitions of erotica and pornography (found both in philosophical literature and everyday understanding) misplaces the focus of what defines an object as either erotica or pornography, as definitions of these concepts are typically based primarily in features such as content, aesthetic quality, or creator's intentions, and I will reject this approach. Instead, I claim that the way to understand the distinction between erotica and pornography (as well as the concepts themselves) is in reference to the relationship of the viewer to the object - to bring this out more clearly, I will discuss Heidegger's dichotomy of objects as ready-to-hand and present-to-hand.
Speaker: James Kirkpatrick (University of Cambridge), Daisy Dixon (University of Cambridge)
Title: The Dangers of 'Make-up' Sex
Abstract: Recent critics of pornography have argued that pornography constitutes harmful speech which harms women. However, such arguments face a serious problem. Since much pornography purports to be fiction or fantasy, it does not genuinely express nor constitute harmful speech. This paper shows how to reconcile the claim that pornography constitutes harmful speech with the claim that much pornographic content is fictional by appealing to the photographic transparency of fictional pornography.
Organising department: Faculty of Philosophy
Part of: The Ockham Society