Feminism: liberal versus postmodern

In my Free Speech & Censorship course this week, we are reading Catharine MacKinnon’s Only Words (Harvard, 1993), an influential postmodern feminist case for the censorship of pornography. We have already read Plato’s pre-modern case for censorship from Book 10 of Republic and John Stuart Mill‘s modern case for free speech in Chapter 2 of On Liberty. The contrasts between the three are strong.

Here’s a chart from the class, contrasting the liberal and postmodern positions on several sub-issues.


For a full treatment, my “Free Speech and Postmodernism” essay, adapted from the second of two lectures given in 2002. Also available at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education site.

One thought on “Feminism: liberal versus postmodern

  • March 7, 2014 at 12:16 am

    This is great. Lays it out with wonderful lucidity.

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