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Incest

Edited by Benjamin Smart (University of Birmingham, University of Johannesburg)
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  1. Alfred Owen Aldridge (1951). The Meaning of Incest From Hutcheson to Gibbon. Ethics 61 (4):309-313.
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  2. Vera Bergelson (2013). Vice is Nice But Incest is Best: The Problem of a Moral Taboo. [REVIEW] Criminal Law and Philosophy 7 (1):43-59.
    Incest is a crime in most societies. In the United States, incest is punishable in almost every state with sentences going as far as 20 and 30 years in prison, and even a life sentence. Yet the reasons traditionally proffered in justification of criminalization of incest—respecting religion and universal tradition; avoiding genetic abnormalities; protecting the family unit; preventing sexual abuse and sexual imposition; and precluding immorality—at a close examination, reveal their under- and over-inclusiveness, inconsistency or outright inadequacy. It appears that (...)
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  3. Courtney M. Cahill, Same-Sex Marriage, Slippery Slope Rhetoric, and the Politics of Disgust: A Critical Perspective on Contemporary Family Discourse and the Incest Taboo.
    This Article examines the role that the incest taboo has played in slippery slope rhetoric pertaining to same-sex marriage specifically, and non-normative family arrangements more generally, and argues that the law must reappraise the extent to which disgust, rather than reasoned argument, sustains laws governing sexual and familial choice. It takes issue with the claim that discussion of the taboo has led to its erosion, and contends that it has remained a powerful symbol of non-normative sexuality that sits at the (...)
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  4. C. Farrelly (2008). The Case for Re-Thinking Incest Laws. Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (9):e11-e11.
    The recent case of German siblings Patrick Stübing and his sister Susan Karolewski has reignited debate over the criminalisation of sexual intercourse among consanguine descendants. The primary justification for criminalising incest is the purported increased risk of genetic disabilities among offspring, but is criminalising sexual intercourse an empirically sound and proportionate response to this increased risk? To answer this question we must consider the specifics of the harm in question and the magnitude of the harms of the intervention. The example (...)
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  5. Robert William Fischer (2012). Why Incest is Usually Wrong. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 19 (1):17-31.
    I contend that there are strong moral reasons for most adult family members to avoid having sex with one another; indeed, I argue that even among consenting adults, incestuous sex is usually wrong. The argument is simple. Absent compelling reasons, it's wrong to take a significant risk with something that's extremely valuable. But having sex with a family member takes a significant risk with something extremely valuable—namely, a family relationship. And since compelling reasons for taking such a risk are very (...)
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  6. George F. Franko (1995). Incest and Ridicule in the Poenulus of Plautus. Classical Quarterly 45 (01):250-.
    Readers of Plautus’ Poenulus are struck by the generally ‘sympathetic’ portrayal of the title character Hanno, a portrayal somewhat surprising to us since the play was produced shortly after the Second Punic War.1 Contrary to what we might expect, Hanno the Carthaginian is neither villain nor scapegoat, and he even exhibits the Roman virtue of pietas.2 However, Hanno's portrayal is not wholly positive, for Plautus delineates his character principally by endowing him with the negative stereotypes of Punic physiognomy, dress, speech, (...)
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  7. Peter Hadreas (2002). Phenomenology and the Incest Taboo. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 33 (2):203-222.
    It is argued that traditional functional explanations of the incest taboo do not sufficiently supply causal conditions. It is widely acknowledged that the incest taboo, although universal among human societies, is largely a feature of human behavior. Husserl's investigations of intentionality are introduced to supply the particularly human element by which the taboo may be understood. So as to illumine the contrast between the conflicting intentionalities, a classical Aristotelian contrast between eros and parent/ child philia is drawn. Parent/child philia and (...)
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  8. Patricia A. Halliday (2005). Book Review: Tales of Trauma: A Review of Leigh Gilmore's the Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony (Cornell University Press, 2001) and Janice Doane and Devon Hodges's Telling Incest: Narratives of Dangerous Remembering From Stein to Sapphire (University of Michigan Press, 2001). [REVIEW] Hypatia 20 (2):210-213.
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  9. S. J. Harrison (1996). Mythological Incest: Catullus 88. Classical Quarterly 46 (02):581-.
    Here Gellius, also the target of poems 74, 80, 89, 90, 91 and 116, is accused of incest with his mother, sister, and aunt. This accusation is coupled with the only extended mythological reference to be found in the group of short Catullan epigrams 69–116:2 not even Tethys or Oceanus can wash out Gellius' crimes. This notion that large bodies of water are unable to wash away the stain of crime is of course a topos going back to Greek tragedy, (...)
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  10. R. Higgs (1985). Mum's the Word: Confidentiality and Incest. Journal of Medical Ethics 11 (2):100-104.
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  11. Christian kerslake (2004). Rebirth Through Incest. Angelaki 9 (1):135 – 157.
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  12. Justin Leiber (2006). Instinctive Incest Avoidance: A Paradigm Case for Evolutionary Psychology Evaporates. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 36 (4):369–388.
    Westermarck proposed that humans have an incest avoidance instinct, triggered by frequent intimate contact with family members during the first several years of life. Westermarck reasons that familial incest will tend to produce less fit offspring, those humans without instinctive incest avoidance would hence have tended to die off and those with the avoidance instinct would have produced more viable offspring, and hence familial incest would be, as indeed it is, universally and instinctively avoided . Victorian Westermarck claimed this as (...)
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  13. R. Makarius & E. P. Halperin (1960). The Incest Prohibition and Food Taboos. Diogenes 8 (30):41-61.
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  14. Andrew F. March, Is There a Right to Polygamy and Incest? Should a Liberal State Replace "Marriage" with "Registered Domestic Partnerships"?
    If a state with liberal political and justificatory commitments extends benefits of various kinds to persons forming families, what qualifications may such a state place on the right to access to those benefits? I will make two assumptions for the purposes of this paper. The first is the political and justificatory terrain of some form of political or otherwise non-perfectionist liberalism. The assumption is that we are considering the resources and limitations of a community of persons who accept moral pluralism (...)
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  15. Andrew F. March, Marriage, Sex and Future Persons in Liberal Public Justification: Is There a Right to Incest?
    In this article I consider whether there a right to incestuous marriage. I begin by suggesting that the liberal state get out of the "marriage" business by leveling down to a universal civil union or "registered domestic partnership" status. Removing the symbolism of the term "marriage" from political conflict, privatizing it in the same way as religion, would have the advantage of both consistency and political reconciliation. The question is then whether incestuous unions should be both legal and eligible for (...)
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  16. Jerome Neu (1976). What is Wrong with Incest? Inquiry 19 (1-4):27 – 39.
    Incest taboos should be seen as involving non?sexual objections to sexual relations, that is, objections based on who people are in relation to each other, rather than their activities. What is at stake is brought out by considering certain objections to father?daughter incest and certain features of taboos. The objections that matter do not depend on social ties and distinctions having a biological basis, but there is nonetheless a biological element in incest taboos. To see it, one must look to (...)
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  17. M. Nobel (1978). Incest. Journal of Medical Ethics 4 (2):64-70.
    This paper is based on two presentations under the auspices of thf Edinburgh Medical Group in 1976. Dr Noble and Professor Mason, explore the incidence of incest and society's attitudes to it from legal, anthropological, medical and social viewpoints. They place this in a world context by looking at the universal prohibition of incest and the theories related to that taboo. In conclusion, they suggest that there seem to be sufficient sensible grounds on which to base a reappraisal of attitudes (...)
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  18. Jeffrey Sebo (2006). The Ethics of Incest. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 13 (1):48-55.
    In this article I challenge two common arguments against incest: the genetics argument (that incest is immoral because it might lead to the conception of a genetically deformed child), and the family argument (that incest is immoral because it undermines the family, the emotional center for the individual). These arguments, I contend, commit us to condemning not only incest, but also a wide range ofbehaviors that we currently permit. I thus present the reader with a dilemma: on pain of inconsistency, (...)
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  19. Neven Sesardic, From Genes to Incest Taboos.
    Today the idea that an evolutionary approach may be fruitful for research in the social sciences is being passionately defended by some and no less passionately contested by others. The resistance to Darwinism comes mainly in two distinct varieties. The first type of criticism is based on empirical or methodological objections against the current attempts to use evolutionary considerations to throw some light on social science explananda. The other line of opposition, however, is much harder to pin down and discuss (...)
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  20. Ben Spiecker & Jan Steutel (2000). A Moral-Philosophical Perspective on Paedophilia and Incest. Educational Philosophy and Theory 32 (3):283–291.
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