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Sexual SolipsismPhilosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification$
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Rae Langton

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247066.001.0001

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Autonomy‐Denial in Objectification

Autonomy‐Denial in Objectification

(p.223) 10 Autonomy‐Denial in Objectification
Sexual Solipsism

Rae Langton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

What is objectification? Nussbaum proposes a cluster concept, seven ways to ‘treat’ someone as an ‘object’. Autonomy-denial and instrumentality form the core. This chapter responds, distinguishing ‘object’ from ‘treatment’ aspects of the concept. First, three features should be added to Nussbaum's seven: reduction to body, reduction to appearance, silencing. Second, autonomy-denial involves a plurality of independent modes of treatment: e.g., non-attribution of autonomy, violation of autonomy. Paternalism illustrates non-attribution without violation; sadistic rape illustrates violation without non-attribution. Autonomy-affirming treatment can, paradoxically, be autonomy-denying: attributing autonomy can be a way of violating someone's autonomy, as when enslaved pornography model Lovelace was welcomed as a beacon of freedom.

Keywords:   Nussbaum, objectification, treatment, object, rape, autonomy-denial, non-attribution of autonomy, autonomy violation

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