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The Scottish Aesthetics Forum: “Pornography, speech acts, and fiction”

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The Scottish Aesthetics Forum is delighted to announce its next lecture:

Dr Kathleen Stock (Sussex)
“Pornography, speech acts, and fiction”
Wednesday, 24 January, 2018, 4:15 – 6:00pm
7 Bristo Square, Room 1.203
University of Edinburgh

The lecture is free and open to all!

Abstract: “In the course of arguing for her wider and well-known view that pornography literally silences women, Rae Langton suggests that a piece of pornography is, inevitably, a speech act: an act of speaking. In this view, she is accompanied by Ronald Dworkin and by Caroline West (with whom she is a sometime co-author); she also, at least on the face of it, shares the assumption with a dominant interpretation of the US constitution, according to which the First Amendment should protect pornography under the aegis of free speech. On the other side of the debate are those who argue that a piece of pornography is not and cannot be a speech act. These include philosophers such as Jennifer Hornsby, Jennifer Saul and Louise Anthony. One striking thing about this debate is that it apparently operates at a level of complete generality: either pornography always is a speech act, or it never is. I will argue that neither of these conclusions is acceptable. In particular, I will draw an instructive comparison with non-pornographic fiction, which in some cases can correctly be said to deliberately convey a message, as speech does, but in other cases clearly does not.”

About the speaker: Kathleen Stock is a Reader in Philosophy at the University of Sussex. Her work is primarily on fiction and the imagination, and she’s recently published a book called Only Imagine: Fiction, Interpretation and Imagination. She’s also published articles on various topics including imaginative resistance, sexual objectification, fictive utterance, and seeing-in.

Additional information: The lecture will be followed by a dinner with our speaker. If you would like to attend the dinner, please contact the organisers by 20 January.

*** There are limited funds to cover dinner expenses for two students, offered on a first-come-first-served basis. ***

Don’t miss our upcoming events!

1 March 2018 – Stacie Friend (Birkbeck College) – “The Factual Basis of Learning from Fiction” and
28 March 2018 – Peter Lamarque (York) – “Experiencing Poetry”

– To contact the organisers: scottishaestheticsforum@gmail.com.
– For more information: http://www.saf.ppls.ed.ac.uk
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