Sexual Objectification and Its (Alleged?) Wrongness: What is sexual objectification, exactly, and is it (always? usually? sometimes?) wrong? If so, when and why is it wrong?

Sub-questions to answer: (a) What is sexual objectification? You can either present Sandra Lee Bartky’s definition of the phenomenon or Sally Haslanger’s, or you can construct your own definition. (b) In what circumstances is the phenomenon, as you understand it, wrong? Is sexual objectification ever wrong? Why or why not? (c) If sexually objectifying someone is wrong, why is it wrong? (d) In particular, are acts of this kind wrong because they count as using a person as a (mere) means, or (as on Juetten’s view) because they count as imposing a harmful social status on the objectified party? Justify your answers and be sure to anticipate possible objections to the conception of sexual objectification that you consider as well as possible responses to these objections.

Formatting: The shorter paper should be double spaced, in a standard, 12-pt font, with 1’’ margins. The paper should be 5 to 7 pages long; it is not recommended that you write a paper much shorter than that.

Introduction: You will be required to write an introductory paragraph for this paper. The purpose of the introduction is to briefly spell out (1) the topic of the paper, (2) the primary conclusion(s) for which you will be arguing, and (3) a step-by-step breakdown of what you do in the paper.

Quotations: Please provide quotations from the actual text of the philosopher whose work you discuss in your paper, especially to support your interpretation. You should quote directly from the text itself rather than from the handouts. You should not just summarize the relevant handout(s).

All quotations should be in quotation marks to set them apart from the claims that you are making.

Citations: You must cite all sources from which you draw quotations. No particular citation style is required. However, when you cite a source, please mention the page number associated with it.

Charity: In all papers for this course, you should try to be charitable to the philosopher you write about. So, you should take seriously the possibility that he/she might be right, you should present his/her views in the strongest possible light, and you should imagine how he/she might reply.

Punctuality: Except in unusual circumstances, late work will be penalized 1/3 of a letter grade per day (e.g. from A to A-, etc.). You should make every effort to turn in your work on time.

Plagiarism: You are encouraged to discuss the material with your peers outside of class. But, like all other work for the course, this paper must contain your own thoughts written in your own words.

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