The Ethics of Sexual Fantasy

International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (1):27-49 (2009)
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Abstract

I defend the thesis that a person’s sexual fantasies function autonomously from his desires, beliefs, and intentions, a fact I attributeto their different forms of intentionality: the contents of sexual fantasies, unlike those of the latter, lack a direction of fit and thus fail to express satisfaction conditions. I then show how the autonomy thesis helps to answer important questions about the ethics of sexual fantasy. I also argue that the autonomy thesis can claim empirical support from several areas, including interesting recent work on meta-representation and simulation theory.

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Jeffrey Hershfield
Wichita State University

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