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Art and PornographyPhilosophical Essays$
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Hans Maes and Jerrold Levinson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609581

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609581.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Pornography and Imagining about Oneself

Pornography and Imagining about Oneself

(p.116) 6 Pornography and Imagining about Oneself
Art and Pornography

Kathleen Stock

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores, and ultimately rejects, the thought that enjoying erotica or pornography must always involve imagining something about oneself. After distinguishing between different kinds of imagining de se, and clarifying the general claim that there is a connection between emotional engagement with fiction and implicitly imagining de se, it turns to the case of pornography, examining and rejecting three possible arguments for a necessary connection between imagining, from the inside, being aware of represented events (that is, implicitly imagining de se), and being aroused by them. Since versions of these arguments might equally be applied to affective responses to fiction more generally, this chapter goes at least part way to undermining the ‘argument from affective response’, that is, the claim that one can provide a good explanation of our emotional responses to fictional events by construing imagining in relation to these events as imagining being aware of those events.

Keywords:   imagining de se, imagination, sexual arousal, emotion, affective response, fiction

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