Would John Stuart Mill Have Regulated Pornography?

23 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2014

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: December 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 approach to sex, sexual activity, and the regulation of prostitution reveal an altogether more nuanced and activist approach. We conclude that John Stuart Mill would almost certainly have accepted certain forms of pornography regulation and, in this light, we argue that Mill can provide the foundation for new, liberal justifications of some forms of pornography regulation.

Suggested Citation

McGlynn, Clare M. S. and Ward, Ian, Would John Stuart Mill Have Regulated Pornography? (December 2014). Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 41, Issue 4, pp. 500-522, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2531489 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6478.2014.00683.x

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)

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