Public Affairs Quarterly 19 (4):301-315 (2005)

Stephen Kershnar
Fredonia State University
Sexual fantasy is a non-perceptual thought that is sexually arousing. It has several paradigmatic features. The structure of a fantasy involves an agent taking pleasure in an object that is often a visual depiction of an event. The fantasy is under the agent’s control and has a semantic content. Since mere sexual fantasizing about someone respects the individual who are depicted in the fantasy, the rightness of a sexual fantasy depends on whether consequentialism is true and, if so, whether the particular fantasy brings about better results an alternative activities. Sexual fantasies can be intrinsically good or bad depending on whether the pleasure is malicious and whether the fantasy contains a false statement. The vast majority are not intrinsically bad since they neither involve an unfitting attitude toward something that is itself bad nor commit the subject to a falsity. Hence, if one rejects consequentialism, then most sexual fantasies, including many of the most violent ones, are neither wrong nor intrinsically bad.
Keywords Sexual Fantasy  Rape Fantasy  Pedophilia  Rape  Deontology  Consequentialism  Virtue
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,295
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

How Not to Defend Response Moralism. Smuts - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 49 (4):19-38.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Ethics of Sexual Fantasy.Jeffrey Hershfield - 2009 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (1):27-49.
Moral Judgments, Fantasies, and Virtual Worlds.Earl Spurgin - 2009 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (2):271-284.
Sexual Education and Morality.Ben Spiecker - 1992 - Journal of Moral Education 21 (1):67-76.
The Status of Moral Status.Benjamin Sachs - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):87-104.
Moral Status as a Matter of Degree?David DeGrazia - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):181-198.
The Grounds of Moral Status.Julie Tannenbaum & Agnieszka Jaworska - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:0-0.
Moral Status, Speciesism, and Liao’s Genetic Account.Christopher Grau - 2010 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (3):387-96.
Mary Anne Warren on “Full” Moral Status.Robert P. Lovering - 2004 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):509-30.
The Moral Status of Artificial Life.Bernard Baertschi - 2012 - Environmental Values 21 (1):5 - 18.
On the Notion of Moral Status and Personhood in Biomedical Ethics.Azam Golam - 2010 - The Dhaka Univrsity Studies 67 (1):83-96.
The Potentiality Problem.Elizabeth Harman - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):173 - 198.


Added to PP index

Total views
70 ( #152,801 of 2,448,748 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #64,114 of 2,448,748 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes