Pornography and Imagining about Oneself

Kathleen Stock

in Art and Pornography

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609581
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746260 | DOI:
Pornography and Imagining about Oneself

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This chapter explores, and ultimately rejects, the thought that enjoying erotica or pornography must always involve imagining something about oneself. After distinguishing between different kinds of imagining de se, and clarifying the general claim that there is a connection between emotional engagement with fiction and implicitly imagining de se, it turns to the case of pornography, examining and rejecting three possible arguments for a necessary connection between imagining, from the inside, being aware of represented events (that is, implicitly imagining de se), and being aroused by them. Since versions of these arguments might equally be applied to affective responses to fiction more generally, this chapter goes at least part way to undermining the ‘argument from affective response’, that is, the claim that one can provide a good explanation of our emotional responses to fictional events by construing imagining in relation to these events as imagining being aware of those events.

Keywords: imagining de se; imagination; sexual arousal; emotion; affective response; fiction

Chapter.  8251 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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