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Philosophy of Sexuality

Edited by Benjamin Smart (University of Birmingham, University of Johannesburg)
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Subcategories:History/traditions: Philosophy of Sexuality
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The Nature of Sex
Defining Sexual Activity
  1. Gregory Baum, John Aloysius Coleman & Marcus Lefébure (eds.) (1984). The Sexual Revolution. T. & T. Clark.
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  2. Nikolay Milkov (2011). Sexual Experience. In McEnvoy Adrienne (ed.), Sex, Love, and Friendship, vol. 2. Rodopi.
    The paper follows an ontological approach in analyzing sexual experience. Sexual experience is defined as: (i) an experience in action. Correspondingly, its individuals are of two different types: (a) sense-data and (b) gestures. (ii) It is a kind of knowledge—a typical synthetic a posteriori knowledge (a virgin cannot know what sexual experience could be). (iii) It is a kind of anti-realist knowledge—its objects are constructed in the process of knowing. (iv) Sexual action proceeds in judgments that are micro-decisions of how (...)
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  3. Alan Soble (2009). A History of Erotic Philosophy. Journal of Sex Research 49 (2-3):104-120.
  4. Alan Soble (2006). Review of Joan McGregor, Is It Rape? [REVIEW] Law and Philosophy 25 (6).
  5. Alan Soble (ed.) (2002). The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings. Rowman & Littlefield.
  6. Alan Soble (1999). Loose Women, Lecherous Men. Teaching Philosophy 22 (4):411-416.
  7. Alan Soble (1997). Antioch's “Sexual Offense Policy”: A Philosophical Exploration. Journal of Social Philosophy 28 (1):22-36.
    An analytic investigation of Antioch's "Sexual Offense Policy.".
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  8. A. Thatcher (1996). Safe Sex, Unsafe Arguments. Studies in Christian Ethics 9 (2):66-77.
Procreative Views of Sex
  1. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2009). Transsexualität Zwischen Genetik Und Sozialer Praxis. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 57 (5):757-780.
    Transsexuality has been subject to careful reflections in many disciplines outside philosophy. I first contextualize my philosophical approach by relating to the existing scholarship on transsexuality. Focusing on matters of sexual identity, I then propose a characterization of what might be considered the philosophical dimension of transsexual identity. Paying particular attention to the propositional consciousness of transsexuals, I develop the main thesis that transsexuality helps philosophers of sex to forcefully establish the contingency of sexual identity in terms of the underlying (...)
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Normal vs Abnormal Sex
  1. Ladelle McWhorter (1999). Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization. Indiana University Press.
    In Bodies and Pleasures, Ladelle McWhorter reads Foucault from an original and personal angle, motivated by the differences this experience has made in her life.
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  2. Alan Soble (2009). A History of Erotic Philosophy. Journal of Sex Research 49 (2-3):104-120.
  3. Alan Soble (ed.) (2002). The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings. Rowman & Littlefield.
The Nature of Sex, Misc
  1. Vern L. Bullough (1995). Sexual Attitudes: Myths & Realities. Prometheus Books.
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  2. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2011). Transsexuality: Reconciling Christianity and Science. Toronto Journal of Theology 27 (1):51-71.
    Furthering the dialogue with J. Wentzel van Huyssteen over his way of reconciling Christianity and science while reflecting on human uniqueness, I offer a philosophical analysis of the phenomenon of transsexuality. The focus of my analysis is the implications of transsexuality for the metaphysics of reductive naturalism. Envisioning a pluralistic ontology of the sexed human body, I propose to account for human sexuality within the general framework of normative pragmatism. The context of my reflections is a theology of sexual diversity, (...)
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  3. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2009). Transsexualität Zwischen Genetik Und Sozialer Praxis. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 57 (5):757-780.
    Transsexuality has been subject to careful reflections in many disciplines outside philosophy. I first contextualize my philosophical approach by relating to the existing scholarship on transsexuality. Focusing on matters of sexual identity, I then propose a characterization of what might be considered the philosophical dimension of transsexual identity. Paying particular attention to the propositional consciousness of transsexuals, I develop the main thesis that transsexuality helps philosophers of sex to forcefully establish the contingency of sexual identity in terms of the underlying (...)
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  4. Yiftach J. H. Fehige (2007). Sexualphilosophie. LIT.
    This book is an introduction to philosophy of sex. The history of philosophy of sex is depicted (from Plato to Herman Schmitz) to set up the background against which the philosophy of sex by Herman Schmitz is analyzed. This leads to the discussion of topics like masturbation, the ontology of the sexed human body, and same-sex marriage.
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  5. Lisa Guenther (2010). Other Fecundities: Proust and Irigaray on Sexual Difference. Differences 21 (2).
    Irigaray's early work seeks to multiply possibilities for women's self-expression by recovering a sexual difference in which male and female are neither the same nor opposites, but irreducibly different modes of embodiment. In her more recent work, however, Irigaray has emphasized the duality of the sexes at the expense of multiplicity, enshrining the heterosexual couple as the model of sexual ethics. Alison Stone's recent revision of Irigaray supplements her account of sexual duality with a theory of bodily multiplicity derived from (...)
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  6. Gail Hawkes (1996). A Sociology of Sex and Sexuality. Open University Press.
    A Sociology of Sex and Sexuality offers an historical sociological analysis of ideas about expressions of sexual desire, combining both primary and secondary historical and theoretical material with original research and popular imagery in the contemporary context. While some reference is made to the sexual ideology of Classical Antiquity and of early Christianity, the major focus of the book is on the development of ideas about sex and sexuality in the context of modernity. It questions the widespread assumption that the (...)
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  7. Kevin MacDonald (1999). What About Sex Differences? An Adaptationist Perspective on “the Lines of Causal Influence” of Personality Systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):530-531.
    The evolutionary theory of sex implies a theoretically principled account of the causal mechanisms underlying personality systems in which males pursue a relatively high-risk strategy compared to females and are thus higher on traits linked to sensation seeking and social dominance. Females are expected to be lower on these traits but higher on traits related to nurturance and attraction to long-term relationships. The data confirm this pattern of sex differences. It is thus likely that these traits have (...)
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  8. C. Rayner (1977). The Meaning of Sex: A View From the Agony Column. Journal of Medical Ethics 3 (4):157-159.
    This is a slightly edited version of a talk given by Mrs Claire Rayner, a journalist and broadcaster, to a conference on human sexuality held under the auspices of the London Medical Group in the spring of this year. Mrs Rayner's lively presentation conveys the problems and anxieties which people face in this area, even in this so-called `permissive' age.
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  9. Alan Soble (1999). Loose Women, Lecherous Men. Teaching Philosophy 22 (4):411-416.
Sexual Activities
Bestiality
  1. Jurgen Habermas (1999). Bestiality and Humanity: A War on the Border Between Legality and Morality. Constellations 6 (3):263-272.
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  2. Neil Levy (2003). What (If Anything) is Wrong with Bestiality? Journal of Social Philosophy 34 (3):444–456.
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Fetishism
  1. Meter Amevans (1950). Fetishism in the Existentialism of Sartre. Journal of Philosophy 47 (14):407-411.
  2. David Andrews (2002). Commodity Fetishism as a Form of Life: Language and Value in Wittgenstein and Marx. In G. N. Kitching & Nigel Pleasants (eds.), Marx and Wittgenstein: Knowledge, Morality and Politics. Routledge. 35--78.
  3. Bettina Bergo (2007). Commentary on Tina Chanter's “Antigone's Excessive Relationship to Fetishism”. Symposium 11 (2):261-273.
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  4. Allen Buchanan (1980). The Fetishism of Democracy: A Reply to Professor Gould. Journal of Philosophy 77 (11):729-731.
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  5. Antonio Calcagno, The Fetishism of Modernities: Epochal Self-Consciousness in Contemporary Social and Political Thought. By Bernard Yack (University of Notre Dame Press, South Bend, 1997).
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  6. Terrell Carver (1975). Marx's Commodity Fetishism. Inquiry 18 (1):39 – 63.
    Marx's work in the first chapters of Capital is sometimes taken to be ?metaphysical?, since his remarks do not lend themselves to ?scientific? testing against quantitative data. I argue that Marx aimed to re?present the economic theory of his day in order to reveal the characteristic presuppositions of capitalist society, and ? in the first instance ? to rid the theory of logical confusions. Though his distinctions are ingenious and his arguments consistent, the enterprise fails in certain respects, because he (...)
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  7. Tina Chanter (2007). Antigone's Excessive Relationship to Fetishism. Symposium 11 (2):231-260.
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  8. Tina Chanter (2004). Abjection, or Why Freud Introduces the Phallus: Identification, Castration Theory, and the Logic of Fetishism. Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (S1):48-66.
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  9. Kit R. Christensen (1987). Marx, Human Nature, and the Fetishism of Concepts. Studies in East European Thought 34 (3):135-171.
  10. Rebecca Comay (1999). Perverse History: Fetishism and Dialectic in Walter Benjamin. Research in Phenomenology 29 (1):51-62.
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  11. Enrique Dussel (2003). The Concept of Fetishism in Marx's Thought (Elements for a General Marxist Theory of Religion), Part II of II. Radical Philosophy Review 6 (2):93-129.
    In this essay, Enrique Dussel provides a textual “rereading” of Karl Marx’s theory of fetishism according to his scattered but significant comments on religion as they extend throughout the whole of his work. In Part I, “The Place of the Subject of Religion in the Whole Work of Marx,” Dussel demonstrates Marx’s differentiation between a critique of the essence of religion and its manifestations, arguing that there is a space in Marx for a anti-fetishized liberatory religion. In Part II, “Toward (...)
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  12. Steven Farrelly-Jackson (1997). Fetishism and the Identity of Art. British Journal of Aesthetics 37 (2):138-154.
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  13. Maurice A. Finocchiaro (1989). Fetishism, Argument, and Judgment Incapital. Studies in East European Thought 38 (3):237-244.
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  14. Gavin Fridell (2007). Fair-Trade Coffee and Commodity Fetishism: The Limits of Market-Driven Social Justice. Historical Materialism 15 (4):79-104.
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  15. Sean Homer (2005). Cinema and Fetishism: The Disavowal of a Concept. Historical Materialism 13 (1):85-116.
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  16. M. W. Howard (1980). Reviews : Mickael W. Howard -- From Commodity Fetishism to Market Socialism: Critical Notes on Stanley Moore. Philosophy and Social Criticism 7 (2):184-214.
  17. Robin M. James (2007). Deconstruction, Fetishism, and the Racial Contract: On the Politics of "Faking It" in Music. CR 7 (1):45-80.
    I read Sara Kofman's work on Nietzsche, Charles Mills' _The Racial Contract_, and Kodwo Eshun's Afrofuturist musicology to argue that most condemnations of "faking it" in music rest on a racially and sexually problematic fetishization of "the real.".
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  18. Louise J. Kaplan (2006). Cultures of Fetishism. Palgrave Macmillan.
    In her latest book, Dr. Louise Kaplan, author of the groundbreaking Female Perversions, explores the fetishism strategy, a psychological defense that aims to tame, subdue, and if necessary, murder human vitalities. Through an exploration of such cultural phenomena as footbinding, reality television, and the construction of robots, Kaplan demonstrates how, in a technology-driven world, an understanding of the fetishism strategy can help to preserve the human dialogue that is the basis of all human relationships. Kaplan writes from the heart as (...)
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  19. Igor E. Klyukanov (2001). Semiotic Fetishism in Intercultural Communication. American Journal of Semiotics 17 (2):253-267.
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  20. A. Lang (1879). Mr. Max Müller and Fetishism. Mind 4 (16):453-469.
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  21. John Milios & Dimitri Dimoulis (2004). Commodity Fetishism Vs. Capital Fetishism: Marxist Interpretations Vis-à-Vis Marx's Analyses in Capital. Historical Materialism 12 (3):3-42.
  22. Donovan Miyasaki (2003). The Evasion of Gender in Freudian Fetishism. Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society 8 (2):289-98.
    In Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, Freud rejects the notion of a biologically determined connection of instinct to object, a position which helps him avoid the designation of all variations from heterosexuality as either “degenerate” or “pathological.” However, the gender roles and relations commonly attributed to heterosexuality are already implicit in his understanding of sexual instinct and aim. Consequently, even variations from the normal sexual object and aim exemplify, on his interpretation, the clichéd hierarchical opposition of femininity and (...)
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  23. Donovan Miyasaki (2002). The Confusion of Marxian and Freudian Fetishism in Adorno and Benjamin. Philosophy Today 46 (4):429-43.
    Both Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin borrow from Freudian theory in their analyses of fetishism’s relation to the contemporary reception of cultural products. I will argue that both authors have confused the Marxian and Freudian theories of fetishism, resulting in mistaken conclusions about artistic reception. By disentangling the Marxian and Freudian elements in both authors’ positions, I want to show that 1) Adorno’s characterization of regressive listening implies, contrary to his intentions, that the current reception of artwork is in fact (...)
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