A.W. Eaton (University of Illinois, Chicago) “Propaganda, Pornography, Pictures, and Persuasion”

A.W. Eaton (University of Illinois, Chicago) “Propaganda, Pornography, Pictures, and Persuasion”

5th December 2016 - 4:15 pm, Edinburgh


It is a curious fact about the philosophical literatures on both propaganda and pornography that they tend to talk about these phenomena as if they were primarily linguistic. Yet by far most pornography today is pictorial and most propaganda has a significant pictorial component. This paper aims to shift the focus in the conversations to pictures and begins to think through some of the implications of this shift. In particular, I’ll be developing a peculiarly pictorial model of persuasion that better suits the work that pornography and propaganda can do. Along the way, I’ll use some examples of highly persuasive pictures from the Italian Renaissance.

About the speaker

A.W. Eaton is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois, at Chicago, where she is also affiliated with the Gender and Women’s studies and the Department of Art History. A.W. Eaton received her Ph.D. from The University of Chicago in both philosophy and art history in 2003. She works on topics in feminism, aesthetics and the philosophy of art, value theory, and Italian Renaissance painting. Her special interests include the epistemological and ontological status of aesthetic value, the relationship between ethical and artistic value, feminist critiques of pornography, representations of rape in the European artistic tradition, and artifact teleology. A.W. Eaton was a Laurence Rockefeller Fellow at Princeton’s Center for Human Values in 2005-6. She is the editor of the Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art section of Philosophy Compass. For more details and for a list of publications, see her website at https://sites.google.com/site/eatonaw/home.

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