Is pornography “speech”?

Andrew M M Koppelman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Is pornography within the coverage of the First Amendment? A familiar argument claims that it is not. This argument reasons that (1) the free speech principle protects the communication of ideas, which appeal to the reason (the major premise); (2) pornography communicates no ideas and appeals to the passions rather than the reason (the minor premise); (3) therefore pornography is not protected by the free speech principle. This argument has been specified in different ways by different writers. The most prominent and careful of these are Frederick Schauer and John Finnis. Both founder on the attempt to distinguish pornography from art, which both would protect. If art, film, and literature should be protected, then this protection should extend to the pornographic subsets of these genres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-89
Number of pages19
JournalLegal Theory
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Law

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