Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Beyond SpeechPornography and Analytic Feminist Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mari Mikkola

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190257910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190257910.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 July 2020

Be What I Say

Be What I Say

Authority Versus Power in Pornography

(p.59) Chapter 4 Be What I Say
Beyond Speech

Louise Antony

Oxford University Press

Rae Langton holds that speech act theory can explain the “self-verifying” character of pornography. The chapter argues that this faces two problems. First, the account is inconsistent: it requires that pornography be simultaneously an expositive speech act that describes women as inferior, and a verdictive/exercitive speech act that brings it about that women are inferior. But no verdictive/exercitive speech act can describe the very state of affairs it brings about. Second, the account is inaccurate about the conditions necessary for the performance of a verdictive/exercitive speech act: that there must exist accepted background conventions giving the pornographer authority to render verdicts or to take executive action. Langton’s discussion conflates the normative notion of authority with a non-normative notion, namely power. The chapter concludes that speech act theory is inapt for Langton’s purpose, and that the familiar social constructionist notion of a “looping kind” better illuminates pornography’s role in maintaining gender oppression.

Keywords:   pornography, speech act, authority, gender oppression, power

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .