•  3
    Exposing the fallacies of anti-porn feminism
    Feminist Theory 6 (1): 45-65. 2005.
    This paper examines an issue at the centre of feminist debates about pornography and sex work, and that is whether these practices reduce women to sex objects. I question the assumption that the expression of sexual desire is unique in its power to degrade and dehumanize persons. I show that this assumption underlies Catharine MacKinnon’s attack on pornography by considering MacKinnon’s intellectual debt to the philosopher Immanuel Kant. I then examine recent discussions of sexual objectificatio…Read more
  •  21
    Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defence of the Marriage-Free State
    Philosophical Review 128 (2): 233-236. 2019.
  •  44
    Decoupling Marriage and Parenting
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (3): 496-512. 2018.
    This article argues for separating the institutions of marriage and parenting, conceptually and legally. Marriage is neither necessary nor adequate for fostering cooperative and stable co-parenting. Because promoting marriage fails to protect all children, the state should develop a more suitable formal mechanism whereby co-parents can commit to cooperate in good faith in order to best serve the interests of their children. Like civil marriage, many of the terms of these contracts are aspiration…Read more
  •  33
    Laurie Shrage attributes much of the long-standing controversy about abortion to Roe v. Wade and to the Supreme Court's controversial regulatory scheme in that 1973 decision. Shrage explores the origins of that scheme but argues for an alternate scheme - therapeutic abortions shorter than six months can protect women's interests and advance important public interests, but that reproductive rights campaigns should also focus on the social and economic conditions that prevent women having access t…Read more
  •  5
    Philosophizing About Sex
    with Robert Scott Stewart
    Broadview Press. 2015.
    Ancient Greek philosophers, medieval theologians, Enlightenment thinkers, and contemporary humanists alike have debated all aspects of human sexuality, including its purpose, permissibility, normalcy, and risks. _Philosophizing About Sex_ provides a philosophical guide to those longstanding and important debates. Each chapter takes a general issue and shows how ongoing public discussions of sexuality can be illuminated by careful philosophical investigation. Debates over topics such as sexual as…Read more
  •  30
    Free Spirits
    Teaching Philosophy 19 (4): 417-418. 1996.
  •  84
    Is sexual desire raced?: The social meaning of interracial prostitution
    Journal of Social Philosophy 23 (1): 42-51. 1992.
    I shall forgive the white South much in its final judgment day: I shall forgive its slavery, for slavery is a world-old habit; I shall forgive its fighting for a well-lost cause, and for remembering that struggle with tender tears; I shall forgive its so-called “pride of race,” the passion of its hot blood, and even its dear, old, laughable strutting and posing; but one thing I shall never forgive, neither in this world nor the world to come: its wanton and continued and persistent insulting of …Read more
  •  18
    Book Notes (review)
    with Will C. Dudley, Donald F. Koch, Clancy W. Martin, and and Douglas Walton
    Ethics 115 (3): 643-647. 2005.
  •  38
    This paper considers some problems with text-centered psychoanalytic and semiotic approaches to film that have dominated feminist film criticism, and develops an alternative contextual approach. I claim that a contextual approach should explore the interaction of film texts with viewers' culturally formed sensibilities and should attempt to render visible the plurality of meaning in art. I argue that the latter approach will allow us to see the virtues of some classical Hollywood films that the …Read more
  •  41
    Reforming Marriage: A Comparative Approach
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (2): 107-121. 2013.
    In this article, I examine the case for privatising marriage and replacing civil marriage with inclusive civil union policies. I argue against this proposal because of its likely detrimental impact on the social standing of women and girls. In order to assess the importance of civil marriage historically and cross-culturally, I examine a contemporary debate over marriage reform in some predominantly Islamic societies in regard to temporary marriage. I also propose a policy to protect the interes…Read more
  •  6
    Free Spirits: Feminist Philosophers on Culture (review)
    Teaching Philosophy 19 (4): 417-418. 1996.
  • Two Types of Semantic Ambiguity
    Dissertation, University of California, San Diego. 1983.
    This thesis examines procedures for ascribing ambiguity to particular sentences and words of a language. My discussion focuses on theories advanced by Keith Donnellan, Saul Kripke and David Kaplan regarding the alleged referential/attributive ambiguity of definite descriptions, and on arguments offered by Paul Ziff, David Wiggins and Jerrold Katz concerning the ambiguity of the word 'good'. I distinguish two kinds of semantic ambiguity, which I call "strong" and "weak", and develop a theoretical…Read more
  •  43
  •  13
    Is sex identity a feature of one's mind or body, and is it a relational or intrinsic property? Who is in the best position to know a person's sex, do we each have a true sex, and is a person's sex an alterable characteristic? When a person's sex assignment changes, has the old self disappeared and a new one emerged; or, has only the public presentation of one's self changed? "You've Changed" examines the philosophical questions raised by the phenomenon of sex reassignment, and brings together th…Read more
  •  25
  •  33
    Will Philosophers Study Their History, Or Become History?
    Radical Philosophy Review 11 (2): 125-150. 2008.
    This paper contends that philosophers should consult the work of intellectual historians, who write on the history of the social formation of philosophy in the U.S., in order to understand our past role in American society and our intellectual niche in the academy. By understanding the history of our field as a social and cultural phenomenon, and not as a set of ideas that transcend their human contexts, we will be in a better position to set a future course for our discipline
  •  13
    Preface
    Hypatia 14 (1). 1999.