Would John Stuart Mill Have Regulated Pornography?

Journal of Law and Society, 2014, vol 41(4), pp 500-522

17 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2014 Last revised: 6 Jan 2015

See all articles by Clare McGlynn

Clare McGlynn

Durham Law School, Durham University

Ian Ward

University of Newcastle upon Tyne - Faculty of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 20, 2014

Abstract

John Stuart Mill dominates contemporary pornography debates where he is routinely invoked as an authoritative defence against regulation. This article, by contrast, argues that a broader understanding of Mill’s ethical liberalism, his utilitarianism and his feminism casts doubt over such an assumption. New insights into Mill’s thinking on sex, sexual activity and on the regulation of prostitution, reveal an altogether more nuanced and activist approach. In this light, we argue that John Stuart Mill would almost certainly have recommended the regulation of some forms of pornography.

Keywords: pornography, Mill, cultural harm, JS Mill, regulation

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

McGlynn, Clare M. S. and Ward, Ian, Would John Stuart Mill Have Regulated Pornography? (June 20, 2014). Journal of Law and Society, 2014, vol 41(4), pp 500-522. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2457123

Clare M. S. McGlynn (Contact Author)

Durham Law School, Durham University ( email )

Durham University
Palatine Centre
Durham, County Durham DH1 3LE
United Kingdom
0191 334 2800 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dur.ac.uk/law/staff/stafflist/?id=429

Ian Ward

University of Newcastle upon Tyne - Faculty of Law ( email )

21-24 Windsor Terrace
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
United Kingdom
+ 191 222 7620 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
207
Abstract Views
1,347
rank
148,065
PlumX Metrics