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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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  1. S. Seidman (1989). Constructing Sex as a Domain of Pleasure and Self-Expression: Sexual Ideology in the Sixties. Theory, Culture and Society 6 (2):293-315.
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  2. Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (1992). Corporeal Archetypes and Power: Preliminary Clarifications and Considerations of Sex. Hypatia 7 (3):39 - 76.
    An examination of animate from reveals corporeal archetypes that underlie both human sexual behavior and the reigning Western biological paradigm of human sexuality that reworks the archetypes to enforce female oppression. Viewed within the framework of present-day social constructionist theory and Western biology, I show how both social constructionist feminists who disavow biology and biologists who reduce human biology to anatomy forget evolution and thereby forego understandings essential to the political liberation of women.
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  3. Barry Smith (2003). Kraus on Weininger, Kraus on Women, Kraus on Serbia. In Wolfgang Huemer & Marc-Oliver Schuster (eds.), Writing the Austrian Traditions: Relations Between Philosophy and Literature, Edmonton:. University of Alberta Press.
    Otto Weininger’s Sex and Character interprets Kant’s categorical imperative in a way which takes it to imply that all human relations, including human sexual relations, are immoral; it is thus in a certain sense impossible to lead a moral life on this earth. We discuss Weininger’s ideas on man, woman, value and intellect, and describe their influence among the Central European intellectuals of his day, including Wittgenstein, and also including Karl Kraus.
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  4. Nils-Hennes Stear (2009). Sadomasochism as Make-Believe. Hypatia 24 (2):21 - 38.
    In "Rethinking Sadomasochism," Patrick Hopkins challenges the "radical" feminist claim that sadomasochism is incompatible with feminism. He does so by appeal to the notion of "simulation." I argue that Hopkins's conclusions are generally right, but they cannot be inferred from his "simulation" argument. I replace Hopkins's "simulation" with Kendall Walton's more sophisticated theory of "make-believe." I use this theory to better argue that privately conducted sadomasochism is compatible with feminism.
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  5. Hsiu-Chih Tsai (2007). Female Sexuality. American Journal of Semiotics 23 (1/4):123-146.
  6. Mariana Valverde (forthcoming). Beyond Gender Dangers and Private Pleasures: Theory and Ethics in the Sex Debates. Feminist Studies.
  7. Candace Watson (1987). Celibacy and Its Implications for Autonomy. Hypatia 2 (2):157 - 158.
    This paper connects celibacy to autonomy, which is derived from economic, emotional, and sexual self-determination. Although society attempts to control and define women's sexuality, the celibate woman who masturbates can retrieve her sexuality without the massive social rearrangements which are necessary for economic and emotional liberation. Because masturbation is accessible and singular, sexual autonomy is available to a woman who chooses celibacy, regardless of the other exigencies in her life, as illustrated in the example here from popular literature.
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  8. Rebecca Whisnant (2007). Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives on Migration, Sex Work, and Human Rights (Review). Hypatia 22 (3):209-215.
  9. Stephen K. White (2010). Sex, Violence and Crime: Foucault and the 'Man' Question. Contemporary Political Theory 9 (3):347-350.
  10. Jan Wilczynski (1968). On the Sex in Bonellia Viridis. Acta Biotheoretica 18 (1-4).
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  11. Diane Leenheer Zimmerman (2005). Review Essay/Exactly Why is the Crowd Naked? Are We Strippers or Were We Robbed? Criminal Justice Ethics 24 (2):47-52.
    frey Rosen, The Naked Crowd: Reclaiming Security and Freedom in an Anxious Age New York: Random House, 2004, pp. 260.
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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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  2. Timothy Hsiao (2014). A Defense of the Perverted Faculty Argument Against Homosexual Sex. Heythrop Journal 55 (6).
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
  1. Iris Marion Young (1993). Sexual Ethics in the Age of Epidemic. Hypatia 8 (3):184-193.
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: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 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: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 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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