Masthead CMC Magazine / January 1, 1996

* Philosophical Approaches to Pornography, Free Speech, and CMC, by Charles Ess

We May Understand All Views Better

As our attention is shifted to the more general philosophical frameworks, we may discern both strengths and weaknesses in our own positions and those of our interlocutors. We may discover, for example, the limits of the consequentialist approach as such, e.g., because the appeal to consequences depends on our successfully predicting both the preferable and undesirable consequences of a possible policy--prediction which can be notoriously unreliable. Likewise, Kantians and others who stress the importance of persons, their attendant rights, etc., will need to confront the limits of these non-consequentialist approaches--e.g., what do we do when basic rights appear to conflict? What do we do when rights recognized in one culture are not acknowledged in another culture (a problem of considerable difficulty in the dramatically globalized communication environment of the Internet)? --

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