Kant on the Wrongness of 'Unnatural' Sex

History of Philosophy Quarterly 16 (2):225-48 (1999)

Lara Denis
Agnes Scott College
I consider Kant’s use of claims about “nature’s ends” in his arguments to establish maxims of homosexual sex, masturbation, and bestiality as constituting “unnatural” sexual vices, which are contrary to one’s duties to oneself as an animal and moral being. I argue, first, that the formula of humanity is the principle best suited for understanding duties to oneself as an animal and moral being; and second, that although natural teleology is relevant to some degree in specifying these duties, it cannot play a sufficiently robust role to establish Kant’s conclusion. I also discuss what the formula of humanity (along with warranted attention to natural teleology) suggests about the morality of homosexual sex, masturbation, and bestiality.
Keywords duties to oneself  sex  natural teleology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,483
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Kant and the Marriage Right.Donald Wilson - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (1):103–123.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Animality and Agency: A Kantian Approach to Abortion.Lara Denis - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):117-37.
Kant's Ethical Duties and Their Feminist Implications.Lara Denis - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 28 (Supplement):157-87.
Duties to Oneself and the Concept of Morality.Paul D. Eisenberg - 1968 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 11 (1-4):129 – 154.
Kant's Ethics and Duties to Oneself.Lara Denis - 1997 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4):321–348.


Added to PP index

Total views
181 ( #44,161 of 2,286,547 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #60,113 of 2,286,547 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature