Social Science, Pornography, and Values
Social Epistemology 2:2 (1988), pp. 135-144, 1987
13 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2013
Date Written: September 1, 1987
Through a close analysis of the writings of Augustus Brannigan and Sheldon Goldenberg on the causal effects of the consumption of pornography, the author reaches the conclusion that social scientific research on the effects of pornography, and specifically research on the causal relationship between pornography and rape, are inevitably value-laden. To the extent that values play a non-eliminable role in the formulation and testing of social science hypotheses, values -- if understood as subjective, non-cognitive, and essentially-contestable or "mere" opinions -- prevent the social sciences from being "mature" sciences and imply that the "science" in "social science" is misused.
Keywords: Pornography, Rape, Robin Morgan, Social Science, Values & Science, Feminism, Joel Feinberg, Susan Brownmiller, Atlanta, Augustus Brannigan, Sheldon Goldenberg
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