This essay starts by discussing the definitions, and their attendant difficulties, of "casual sex," "promiscuity," and "objectification" (including whether objectification is only about treatment or can be about mere regard), and then continues to discuss the morality of casual sex and promiscuity, especially as to whether they are objectifying. Assuming a pessimist view of sexual desire and activity, the paper argues that it is nearly impossible to defend these sexual practices against the accusation of objectification, because even though casual sex (...) and promiscuity do not necessarily objectify, they likely almost always do. The essay concludes by arguing that the wrongness of objectification in these two kinds of sexual practices might not be serious, so they might be overall morally permissible. (This is a revised version from that in the 7th edition of The Philosophy of Sex.). (shrink)
The paper argues that care ethics should be subsumed under virtue ethics by construing care as an important virtue. Doing so allows us to achieve two desirable goals. First, we preserve what is important about care ethics. Second, we avoid two important objections to care ethics, namely, that it neglects justice, and that it contains no mechanism by which care can be regulated so as not to be become morally corrupt.
A common belief is that, among our sexual dispositions, sexual orientations are important and deep features of who someone is. This distinguishes them from other sexual dispositions—“mere” preferences—that are thought to be trivial in comparison. Is there a way to adequately account for this distinction? What is a plausible explanation for the belief that sexual orientation is a deep and important feature of who one is? This paper defends one necessary condition for a sexual disposition to be an orientation, the (...) well-being condition: if a sexual disposition is an orientation, then the inability to act on it lowers one’s well-being by rendering one’s life sexually deprived. The paper argues that the well-being condition better explains than other criteria the belief that orientations are important features of who one is. The paper concludes by tracing the implications of this view to the common understanding of sexual orientation. (shrink)
: The paper argues that care ethics should be subsumed under virtue ethics by construing care as an important virtue. Doing so allows us to achieve two desirable goals. First, we preserve what is important about care ethics (for example, its insistence on particularity, partiality, emotional engagement, and the importance of care to our moral lives). Second, we avoid two important objections to care ethics, namely, that it neglects justice, and that it contains no mechanism by which care can be (...) regulated so as not to be become morally corrupt. (shrink)
This paper defends the ‘sexual pleasure view’ of sexual desire—that sexual desire is for sexual pleasure. It does so by explaining the various aspects of the view, especially that of ‘sexual pleasure’ on which it relies, by explaining its important implications, by responding to various objections against it (that it relies on an impoverished notion of pleasure, e.g.), and by arguing against some of its main contenders (that sexual desire is for sexual activity, e.g.).
The paper addresses the issue of whether there is something morally defective with someone who sexually prefers members of a particular race or ethnic group (or someone who does not sexually desire or prefer members of a particular race or ethnic group). People with such “racial desires” are often viewed as racists, but virtually no sustained arguments have been given in support of this view. The paper reconstructs three possible arguments—those based in discrimination, exclusion, and stereotypes—that might support the charge (...) of racism. It argues that none is convincing. It further argues that only in some cases are people with racial desires racist, but that in those cases their racism is not because of their sexual desires. (shrink)
How is love different from lust or infatuation? Do love and marriage really go together “like a horse and carriage”? Does sex have any necessary connection to either? And how important are love, sex, and marriage to a well-lived life? In this lively, lucid, and comprehensive textbook, Raja Halwani pursues the philosophical questions inherent in these three important aspects of human relationships, exploring the nature, uses, and ethics of romantic love, sexuality, and marriage. The book is structured in three parts: (...) _Love_ begins by examining how romantic love differs from other types of love, such as friendship and parental love. It asks which properties of love are essential, whether people have a choice in whom they love, and whether lovers have moral obligations to one another that differ from those they owe to others _Sex_ demonstrates the difficulty in defining sex and the sexual, and examines what constitutes good and bad sex in terms of pleasure, 'naturalness', and moral permissibility. It offers theoretical and applied ethical approaches to a wide range of sexual phenomena _Marriage_ traces the history of the institution, and describes the various forms in which marriage exists and the reasons why people marry. It also surveys accounts of why people should or should not marry, and introduces the main arguments for and against gay marriage. Features include: suggestions for further reading online eResource site with dowloadable discussion questions a clear, jargon-free writing style. (shrink)
The book address three central areas of our life—care, love, and sex—from the perspective of virtue ethics. The first chapter on care argues that care should be considered a virtue and embedded within virtue ethics. The second chapter on love argues that romantic love is not a virtue as other philosophers have claimed, but that the virtues enable its best forms. And the third chapter on sex investigates Aristotelian temperance, and it argues that contrary to conservative views of the virtue (...) of temperance, there is a way to conceive of temperance that allows for sexual practices (e.g., promiscuity and casual sex) that are not confined to relationships or marriages. (shrink)
This papers explains the sexual pleasure view of sexual desire, and argues that the moral evaluation of sexual pleasure depends on the moral evaluation of the sexual activity on which the pleasure supervenes. Thus, ethical talk of sexual pleasure as such, regardless of the type of activity on which it supervenes is misguided. The essay also argues that the ethics of sexual desires also depends on the sexual activities that the desires seek, but that the sexual desires and pleasures can (...) help evaluate the character of the person with those desires. The essay concludes by using this Aristotelian view of pleasure as supervening on its activities to solve a dilemma that David Benatar once raised in sexual ethics. (shrink)
Philosophers have recently expressed interest in the question as to whether there is a right to sex, a right whose justification is motivated by the existence of sexually excluded people—people who suffer from involuntary long-term sexual deprivation (owing, say, to a chronic medical condition). This paper, after offering preliminary remarks about what a right to sex and its objects might be and who might have this right, surveys seven justifications for the right: linkage arguments, need, well-being, a minimally decent life, (...) sexual activity being a basic good, injustice, and relationships. The paper argues that a right to sex does not likely exist because none of the justifications is convincing. The paper then argues that despite the lack of justification, and because sexual exclusion is a problem worthy of attention, people’s sexual needs can be addressed through the lens of goals instead of rights. This not only takes sexual exclusion seriously enough, it also avoids the crucial problems associated with rights-talk, especially that of sexual coercion. (shrink)
This paper provides an account of the Aristotelian virtue of temperance in regards to food, an account that revolves around the idea of enjoying the right objects and not enjoying the wrong ones. In doing so, the paper distinguishes between two meanings of “taking pleasure in something,” one that refers to the idea of the activity and one to the experience of the activity. The paper then connects this distinction to the temperate person’s attitude towards enjoying the right things and (...) to hitting the mean by enjoying the right object, at the right time, and so on. Throughout, the paper uses eating meat as a case in point, to both illustrate and inform the discussion. In the penultimate section, the paper argues that temperance admits of various conceptions depending on what is right and wrong in regards to eating meat. The paper concludes by responding to three objections. (shrink)
Abstract: This essay explores recent trends and major issues related to gay and lesbian philosophy in ethics (including issues concerning the morality of homosexuality, the natural function of sex, and outing and coming out); religion (covering past and present debates about the status of homosexuality and how biblical and qur'anic passages have been interpreted by both sides of the debate); the law (especially a discussion of the debates surrounding sodomy laws, same-sex marriage and its impact on transsexuals, and whether the (...) law should be used to enforce morality); scientific research into the origins of homosexuality (including discussion of arguments against such research); and metaphysics (especially the question of whether homosexuality is socially constructed during particular times and in particular cultures, or whether sexual orientation is an essential trait cutting across times and cultures). (shrink)
This chapter argues that sex and love are quite different from each other. Specifically, it argues that sexual desire is different kind of entity from romantic love, especially when the latter is understood as the settled abiding commitment between long-term partners. It also explores the normative connections (moral permissibility, obligation, and supererogation) between non-romantic forms of love—friendship, familial, and agapic love—and sexual desire, as this is an under-researched area. Furthermore, the essay argues that sexual desire’s goals clash with the goals (...) of many forms of love because the goal of sexual desire is self-interested whereas those of love are not. (shrink)
This paper is a review essay of the recently published _Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Sex and Sexuality_, edited by Brian D. Earp, Clare Chambers, and Lori Watson (2022). The anthology consists of an introduction and 40 essays, and it has eight parts: (I) What Is Sex? Is Sex Good?; (II) Sexual Orientations; (III) Sexual Autonomy and Consent; (IV) Regulating Sexual Relationships; (V) Pathologizing Sex and Sexuality; (VI) Contested Desires; (VII) Objectification and Commercialized Sex; and (VIII) Technology and the Future (...) of Sex. The anthology contains essays mostly by philosophers and a few by non-philosophers (which can be a double-edged sword for a philosophy book). Some essays survey a topic, while others defend specific theses. I argue that the quality of the essays varies, but that all are thought-provoking. Although the essays that deal with sexual orientation and race tend to be on the weaker side, those that deal with technology, objectification, incest, pedophilia, sex work, and the regulation of relationships are on the strong side. (shrink)
(This is a revised version of the essay for the 8th edition of The Philosophy of Sex.) Halwani address three main arguments as to why someone with sexual racial preferences (sexual preferences for or against people on the basis of their ethnic of racial belonging) might be thought racist, and argues that they all fail. He then explains the steps that need to be taken before we can conclude that someone is racist from the mere fact that he or she (...) has racial preferences. In an appendix to this revised essay, Halwani explains and criticizes all the recent essays that have been published since 2017 on this subject. (shrink)
This book's thirty essays explore philosophically the nature and morality of sexual perversion, cybersex, masturbation, homosexuality, contraception, same-sex marriage, promiscuity, pedophilia, date rape, sexual objectification, teacher-student relationships, pornography, and prostitution. Authors include Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Nagel, Alan Goldman, John Finnis, Sallie Tisdale, Robin West, Alan Wertheimer, John Corvino, Cheshire Calhoun, Jerome Neu, and Alan Soble, among others. A valuable resource for sex researchers as well as undergraduate courses in the philosophy of sex.
The book is a collection of the presentations of the Society for Lesbian and Gay Philosophy from 1998 to 2008. The essays are organized historically, starting in 1998. Their topics cover virtually every philosophical field, and such that each is connected to gay and lesbian studies. Topics include how we are to understand sexual orientation, whether same-sex leads to polygamy, teaching gay studies to undergraduates, promiscuity and virtue, the "war on terror" and gay oppression, the rationality of coming out, the (...) ethics of outing, connections between being gay and being happy, and last, but not least, dignity and being gay. (shrink)
This best-selling volume examines the nature, morality, and social meanings of contemporary sexual phenomena. Updated and new discussion questions offer students starting points for debate in both the classroom and the bedroom.
This is the 8th edition of the book, with eight new essays to the volume. Table of contents: Are We Having Sex Now or What? (Greta Christina); Sexual Perversion (Thomas Nagel); Plain Sex (Alan Goldman); Sex and Sexual Perversion (Robert Gray); Masturbation and the Continuum of Sexual Activities (Alan Soble); Love: What’s Sex Got to Do with It? (Natasha McKeever); Is “Loving More” Better? The Values of Polyamory (Elizabeth Brake); What Is Sexual Orientation? (Robin Dembroff); Sexual Orientation: What Is It? (...) (Kathleen Stock); Asexuality (Luke Brunning and Natasha McKeever); LGBTQ ... Z? (Kathy Rudy); How to Be a Pluralist About Gender Categories (Katharine Jenkins); The Negotiative Theory of Gender Identity and the Limits of First-Person Authority (Burkay Ozturk); Racial Sexual Desires (Raja Halwani); Sex and Technology: The Ethics of Virtual Connection (Neil McArthur); A Realist Sexual Ethics (Micah Newman); Sexual Morality and the Concept of Using Another Person (Thomas Mappes); Sexual Use (Alan Soble); Dark Desires (Seiriol Morgan); The Harms of Consensual Sex (Robin West); Casual Sex, Promiscuity, and Objectification (Raja Halwani); Is Prostitution Harmful? (Ole Martin Moen); BDSM (Shaun Miller); Two Views of Sexual Ethics: Promiscuity, Pedophilia, and Rape (David Benatar); Sexual Gifts and Sexual Duties (Alan Soble); A Bibliography of the Philosophy of Sex . (shrink)
The paper argues that individual Palestinians have a right of return to historic Palestine in virtue of being members of the Palestinian people that continues to have occupancy rights in historic Palestine. More specifically, the paper argues that the Palestinians were, when Israel was founded, a people with occupancy rights to their lands, that they continue to be a people to this day, and that their occupancy right has not been alienated, forfeited, or prescripted. The paper then argues that individual (...) Palestinians have the right of occupancy in virtue of being members of the Palestinian people. Because the right has been blocked by Israel since 1948, the right of return is the right of individual Palestinians to be allowed to return to their homeland and exercise their occupancy rights there. (shrink)
The paper discusses Kant's view of sexual desire in connection with Aristotle's account of sexual temperance, arguing that if the Kantian view is correct, the Aristotelian account is false (or that if the Aristotelian account is true, then the Kantian view is false). One cannot be both an Aristotelian and a Kantian about the ethics of sexual desire.
This paper focuses on the relationship between love (romantic, friendship) and moral integrity. More specifically, it looks into the conditions that need to be satisfied for the two to conflict with each other. After giving a general characterization of moral integrity and explaining some crucial moral aspects of love, both culled from the literature on integrity and on love, I provide two cases of couples whose love clashes with their integrity, one of a vegan in love with a non-vegan, and (...) another of a pro-choicer in love with a pro-lifer. I then argue that love and integrity conflict when the following conditions are satisfied: (1) the lover's integrity tracks real and worthwhile values; (2) these values are important to the lover; (3) these values are contrary to those of the beloved's; (4) the beloved acts on the beloved's values; and (5) the lover cannot justify the beloved's values. I conclude with some remarks about the actual satisfaction of these conditions—on how frequently such conflicts occur. (shrink)
The book contains four chapters, each dealing with a central topic to the conflict: self-determination (by Kapitan), the right of return of Palestinian refugees (by Halwani), terrorism (by Kapitan), and the one-state solution (by Halwani).