Written with insight and humor, _College Sex - Philosophy for Everyone_ investigates a broad array of philosophical issues relating to student sex. Examines the ethical issues of dating, cheating, courtship, homosexual experimentation, and drug and alcohol use Considers student-teacher relationships, sexual experimentation, the meaning of sex in a college setting and includes two essays based on influential research projects on ‘friends with benefits’ Many of the authors teach classes that explore the philosophy of love and sex, and most (...) are scholars from the Society of the Philosophy of Sex and Love. (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 background -- Projects; the significance of sex and love; secret pictures; sexual pluralism -- A history of the philosophy of sex and love -- The ancients; medieval philosophy; modern philosophy; the twentieth century; contemporary philosophy -- Sex -- Sexual concepts -- Analytic questions; sexual activity; sexual desire; social constructionism; polysemicity ; sexual sensations -- Sexual perversion -- St. thomas aquinas; problems with natural law; psychological perversion; psychiatry and perversion; a conceptual framework -- Sexual ethics -- (...) Contraception; beyond natural law; immanuel kant; contemporary kantian philosophy; utilitarianism; sadomasochism; love -- Sexual politics -- Consent, again; pedophilia ; prostitution and marriage; marital rape; compulsory heterosexuality; pornography -- Love -- Varieties of love -- What is love?; love and value; eros and agape; evaluating and assessing love; the fine gold thread; concern and benevolence; union -- Features of love -- Tangles in theories of love; exclusivity; uniqueness; irreplaceability; constancy; reciprocity -- Sex, love, and marriage -- Pauline marriage; the links; sex and love; the death of desire; saving marriage; reasons for monogamy; reasons for marriage -- Gender -- Women and men; gender and sex surveys; heterosexual failure; gendered sexuality; gendered love. (shrink)
Contemporary understandings of nature, or what is ‘natural’, are increasingly subject to debate in our bio-technological age. In this article, I argue that ideas about nature and biology bear a largely unacknowledged relation to normative ideas about sex in western science and philosophy. By examining the concepts of nature and sex in the writings of prominent 18th-century thinkers such as Kant, Rousseau, Burke and Linnaeus, I try to show that in response to the withdrawal, absence or ‘death’ of God (...) that characterizes the Enlightenment worldview, the desire to control sexual expression emerges as a key feature of scientific, aesthetic and philosophical systems of knowledge. Moreover, this desire shapes the concept of nature in such a way that it becomes amenable to the specifically 19th-century figuration of modern biological science. (shrink)
This book examines feminist philosophical analyses of sexual oppression of women by men, and brings them into conversation with phenomenological, ontological and psychoanalytical accounts of erotic experience and sexual difference.
Some critics of sex-robots worry that their use might spread objectifying attitudes about sex, and common sense places a higher value on sex within love-relationships than on casual sex. If there could be mutual love between humans and sex-robots, this could help to ease the worries about objectifying attitudes. And mutual love between humans and sex-robots, if possible, could also help to make this sex more valuable. But is mutual love between humans and robots possible, or even conceivable? We discuss (...) three clusters of ideas and associations commonly discussed within the philosophy of love, and relate these to the topic of whether mutual love could be achieved between humans and sex-robots: (i) the idea of love as a “good match”; (ii) the idea of valuing each other in our distinctive particularity; and (iii) the idea of a steadfast commitment. We consider relations among these ideas and the sort of agency and free will that we attribute to human romantic partners. Our conclusion is that mutual love between humans and advanced sex-robots is not an altogether impossible proposition. However, it is unlikely that we will be able to create robots sophisticated enough to be able to participate in love-relationships anytime soon. -/- . (shrink)
Many philosophers believe that our ordinary English words man and woman are “gender terms,” and gender is distinct from biological sex. That is, they believe womanhood and manhood are not defined even partly by biological sex. This sex/gender distinction is one of the most influential ideas of the twentieth century on the broader culture, both popular and academic. Less well known are the reasons to think it’s true. My interest in this paper is to show that, upon investigation, the arguments (...) for the sex/gender distinction have feet of clay. In fact, they all fail. We will survey the literature and tour arguments in favor of the sex/gender distinction, and then we’ll critically evaluate those arguments. We’ll consider the argument from resisting biological determinism, the argument from biologically intersex people and vagueness, the argument from the normativity of gender, and some arguments from thought experiments. We’ll see that these arguments are not up to the task of supporting the sex/gender distinction; they simply don’t work. So, philosophers should either develop stronger arguments for the sex/gender distinction, or cultivate a variety of feminism that’s consistent with the traditional, biologically-based definitions of woman and man. (shrink)
Sexbots are coming. Given the pace of technological advances, it is inevitable that realistic robots specifically designed for people's sexual gratification will be developed in the not-too-distant future. Despite popular culture's fascination with the topic, and the emergence of the much-publicized Campaign Against Sex Robots, there has been little academic research on the social, philosophical, moral, and legal implications of robot sex. This book fills the gap, offering perspectives from philosophy, psychology, religious studies, economics, and law on the possible (...) future of robot-human sexual relationships. (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.
Is sex work (specifically, prostitution) vulnerable to technological unemployment? Several authors have argued that it is. They claim that the advent of sophisticated sexual robots will lead to the displacement of human prostitutes, just as, say, the advent of sophisticated manufacturing robots have displaced many traditional forms of factory labour. But are they right? In this article, I critically assess the argument that has been made in favour of this displacement hypothesis. Although I grant the argument a degree of credibility, (...) I argue that the opposing hypothesis -- that prostitution will be resilient to technological unemployment -- is also worth considering. Indeed, I argue that increasing levels of technological unemployment in other fields may well drive more people into the sex work industry. Furthermore, I argue that no matter which hypothesis you prefer -- displacement or resilience -- you can make a good argument for the necessity of a basic income guarantee, either as an obvious way to correct for the precarity of sex work, or as a way to disincentivise those who may be drawn to prostitution. (shrink)
Sex raises fundamental philosophical questions about topics such as personal identity and well-being, the relationship between emotion and reason, the nature of autonomy and consent, and the dual nature of persons as individuals but also social beings. This article serves as an overview of the philosophy of sex in the English-speaking philosophical tradition and explicates philosophical debate in several specific areas: sexual objectification, rape and consent, sex work, sexual identities and queer theory, the medicalization of sexuality, and polyamory. It (...) situates these topics in a framework of shifting cultural attitudes and argues for the importance of the philosophy of sex. It ends with some suggestions about future research, particularly with regard to the changing nature of pornography and sexual justice in legal theory. (shrink)
____Race/Sex__ is the first forum for combined discussion of racial theory and gender theory. In sixteen articles, avant-garde scholars of African American philosophy and liberatory criticism explore and explode the categories of race, sex and gender into new trajectories that include sexuality, black masculinity and mixed-race identity.
What is sex? Some feminists have harboured suspicions about this form of question, given its philosophical (or ‘metaphysical’1) pedigree. But philosophy no longer has the disciplinary monopoly on it. Indeed, with regard to sex, the more interesting task today is to pose and to attempt to answer the question from within a transdisciplinary problematic. For the question requires a theoretical response capable of recognizing that it concerns a cultural and political (and therefore neither a specifically philosophical nor a merely (...) empirical) problem. It requires an account of sex which is theoretically satisfying whilst being both adequate to and critical of everyday experience; a critical-theoretical account capable of embracing the everyday experience of sex, its lived contradictions. This article represents a first attempt to construct a transdisciplinary concept of sex to this end. It traces a line from Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex to some recent attempts to define ‘sex’ and various related but importantly different concepts, and ends by proposing an answer to the question ‘What is sex?’ that draws on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. For our transdisciplinary efforts will of necessity spring from some specific discipline(s) while not remaining confined within them, and not allowing them to remained confined within themselves (which has been something of a problem for philosophy, historically). (shrink)
Sex and sensibility: The role of social selection Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9464-6 Authors Erika L. Milam, Department of History, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Roberta L. Millstein, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA Angela Potochnik, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Joan E. Roughgarden, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA Journal (...) Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
This collection joins together sixty essays on the philosophy of love and sex. Each was presented at a meeting of The Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love held between 1977 and 1992 and later revised for this edition. Topics addressed include ethical and political issues , conceptual matters ; the study of classical and historical figures ; and issues in feminist theory . Authors include Jerome Shaffer, Sandra Harding, Michael Ruse, Richard Mohr, Russell Vannoy, Claudia Card, (...) M.C. Dillon, Gene Fendt, Steven Emmanuel, T.F. Morris, Timo Airaksinen, and Sylvia Walsh. The editor, who is the author of Pornography , The Structure of Love , and Sexual Investigations , has also contributed six pieces and an Introduction. (shrink)
It has been claimed that certain forms of individual essentialism render the Theory of Natural Selection unable to explain why any given individual has the traits it does. Here, three reasons are offered why the Theory ought to ignore these forms of essentialism. First, the trait-distributions explained by population genetics supervene on individual-level causal links, and thus selection must have individual-level effects. Second, even if there are individuals that possess thick essences, they lie outside the domain of the Theory. Finally, (...) the contingency of sexual reproduction suggests that essentialism is misguided in this arena. 1 The problem 2 A reprise of the controversy 3 Enter individual essences 4 How can selection not have individual-level effects? 5 Why can't we get rid of essences we don't like? 6 Is sex necessary? (shrink)
In ____Bodies That Matter,__ Judith Butler further develops her distinctive theory of gender by examining the workings of power at the most "material" dimensions of sex and sexuality. Deepening the inquiries she began in _Gender_ _Trouble,_ Butler offers an original reformulation of the materiality of bodies, examining how the power of heterosexual hegemony forms the "matter" of bodies, sex, and gender. Butler argues that power operates to constrain "sex" from the start, delimiting what counts as a viable sex. She offers (...) a clarification of the notion of "performativity" introduced in _Gender Trouble_ and explores the meaning of a citational politics. The text includes readings of Plato, Irigaray, Lacan, and Freud on the formation of materiality and bodily boundaries; "Paris is Burning," Nella Larsen's "Passing," and short stories by Willa Cather; along with a reconsideration of "performativity" and politics in feminist, queer, and radical democratic theory. (shrink)
Autonomy is fundamental to liberalism. But autonomous individuals often choose to do things that harm themselves or undermine their equality. In particular, women often choose to participate in practices of sexual inequality—cosmetic surgery, gendered patterns of work and childcare, makeup, restrictive clothing, or the sexual subordination required by membership in certain religious groups. In this book, Clare Chambers argues that this predicament poses a fundamental challenge to many existing liberal and multicultural theories that dominate contemporary political philosophy. Chambers argues (...) that a theory of justice cannot ignore the influence of culture and the role it plays in shaping choices. If cultures shape choices, it is problematic to use those choices as the measure of the justice of the culture. Drawing upon feminist critiques of gender inequality and poststructuralist theories of social construction, she argues that we should accept some of the multicultural claims about the importance of culture in shaping our actions and identities, but that we should reach the opposite normative conclusion to that of multiculturalists and many liberals. Rather than using the idea of social construction to justify cultural respect or protection, we should use it to ground a critical stance toward cultural norms. The book presents radical proposals for state action to promote sexual and cultural justice. (shrink)
Philosophical discussions of species have focused on multicellular, sexual animals and have often neglected to consider unicellular organisms like bacteria. This article begins to fill this gap by considering what species concepts, if any, apply neatly to the bacterial world. First, I argue that the biological species concept cannot be applied to bacteria because of the variable rates of genetic transfer between populations, depending in part on which gene type is prioritized. Second, I present a critique of phylogenetic bacterial species, (...) arguing that phylogenetic bacterial classification requires a questionable metaphysical commitment to the existence of essential genes. I conclude by considering how microbiologists have dealt with these biological complexities by using more pragmatic and not exclusively evolutionary accounts of species. I argue that this pragmatism is not borne of laziness but rather of the substantial conceptual problems in classifying bacteria based on any evolutionary standard. (shrink)
In a compelling chronicle of her search to understand Beauvoir's philosophy in The Second Sex, Margaret A. Simons offers a unique perspective on Beauvoir's wide-ranging contribution to twentieth-century thought. She details the discovery of the origins of Beauvoir's existential philosophy in her handwritten diary from 1927; uncovers evidence of the sexist exclusion of Beauvoir from the philosophical canon; reveals evidence that the African-American writer Richard Wright provided Beauvoir with the theoretical model of oppression that she used in The (...) Second Sex; shows the influence of The Second Sex in transforming Sartre's philosophy and in laying the theoretical foundations of radical feminism; and addresses feminist issues of racism, motherhood, and lesbian identity. Simons also draws on her experience as a Women's Liberation organizer as she witnessed how women used The Second Sex in defining the foundations of radical feminism. Bringing together her work as both activist and scholar, Simons offers a highly original contribution to the renaissance of Beauvoir scholarship. (shrink)
In this article we attempt to reduce the confusion surrounding the concepts of "sex" and "gender" in the literature of "Women in Corporate Management." We contend that the incorrect usage of these concepts not only creates confusion in the literature, but also casts a shadow over the research findings in this area. We offer specific recommendations for authors as means to reduce the confusion in future research.
Some years ago a collection of historical and philosophical essays on sex was advertised under the slogan: Philosophers are interested in sex again. Since that time the history of sexuality has become an almost unexceptionable topic, occasioning as many books and articles as anyone would ever care to read. Yet there are still fundamental conceptual problems that get passed over imperceptibly when this topic is discussed, passed over, at least in part, because they seem so basic or obvious that it (...) would be time badly spent to worry too much about them. However, without backtracking toweard this set of problems, one will quite literally not know what one is writing the history of when one writes a history of sexuality.An excellent example of some of the most sophisticated current writing in this field can be found in Western Sexuality, a collection of essays that resulted from a seminar conducted by Philippe Ariès at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in 1979-80.1 As one would expect, Western Sexuality is characterized by a diversity of methodological and historiographical approaches—social history, intellectual history, cultural history , historical sociology, the analysis of literary texts, and that distinctive kind of history practiced by Michel Foucault and also in evidence in the short essay by Paul Veyne. One perspective virtually absent from this collection is the history of science, and since I believe that the history of science has a decisive and irreducible contribution to make to the history of sexuality, it is not accident that I am going to focus on that connection. But the history of sexuality is also an area in which one’s historiography or implicit epistemology will stamp, virtually irrevocably, one’s first-order historical writing. It is an arena in which philosophical and historical concerns inevitably run into one another. 1. Philippe Ariès and Adnré Béjin, eds., Western Sexuality: Practice and Percept in Past and Present Times . Arnold I. Davidson, a coeditor of Critical Inquiry, is assistant professor of philosophy and member of the Committees on General Studies in the Humanities and on the Conceptual Foundations of Science at the University of Chicago. His previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, “How to Do the History of Psychoanalysis: A Reading of Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality,” appeared in the Winter 1987 issue. (shrink)
"Sex Robots and Solipsism" presents and reflects upon rapidly evolving developments in human-robot relations. It argues that psychological, phenomenological and neuro-physiological evidence suggests that our new media-saturated environment is eroding the human capacity for deep and prolonged concentration, empathy and attachment. As machines become more human-like, humans become more machine-like. This sets the stage for diminished relations between humans - shallow relations that are increasingly capable of being replaced by relations with artificially intelligent machines.
This paper argues that, if we are committed to a Pro-choice stance with regard to selective abortion for disability, we will be unable to justify the prohibition of sex-selective abortion (SSA), for two reasons. First, familiar Pro-choice arguments in favour of a woman’s right to select against fetal impairment also support, by parity of reasoning, a right to choose SSA. Second, rejection of the criticisms of selective abortion for disability levelled by disability theorists also disposes, by implication, of the key (...) objections to SSA, as developed, most notably, by feminists. The paper, then, consists of a conditional defence of SSA, under which SSA should be available, and protected by a right, if selective abortion for disability is. Opponents of SSA might respond by conceding additional restrictions on selection against disabled fetuses. It should become clear throughout the paper, however, that any such new restrictions would be unacceptably onerous for women. (shrink)
This chapter develops an alternative to the dominant articulation of human existence on the basis of classical phenomenology, arguing that Edmund Husserl's phenomenological inquiries into the structures of embodiment provide a very different and more fruitful starting point for the investigation of sexual difference than the ideas of social gender and biological sex. The ways of classifying sex and gender characteristics mark them out on several different conceptual bases, and thus their categories may not correspond or coincide. Moreover historical and (...) biological inquiries indicate that the dimorphic notion of sex is prescriptive and constructive. Finally the sex/gender paradigm is dominated by the explanatory framework of causes and effects. The phenomenological analysis shows that the causal-functional framework is inadequate for the investigation of the plurality of the bodily existence and sexual difference as a dimension of this existence. In the light of the explication of the concepts of sex and gender, and the phenomenological analysis of embodiment, the sex/gender paradigm cannot offer a basis for a comprehensive philosophy of sexual existence. (shrink)
Recent philosophical writing on sexual desire divides broadly into two camps. Reductionists take sexual desire to aim at an essentially physical bodily pleasure, whereas intentionalist accounts take a focus upon the reciprocal interaction of the mental states of the partners to be crucial for understanding the phenomenon. I argue that the apparent plausibility of reductionism rests upon the flawed assumption that sexual pleasure has the same uniform bodily character in all sexual encounters, which rests in turn upon flawed assumptions in (...) the philosophy of mind. Drawing on an Aristotelian understanding of persons as essentially embodied minds, I outline an alternative account of sexual desire, showing how the nature of the sexual pleasure we take in the body of another can be transformed by the significance the person or situation has for us. I proceed to show that my account of sexual desire is able to accommodate the entire range of sexual phenomena, including those that seem to undermine standard intentionalist accounts as well as those that reductionists have difficulty in fully explaining. Finally I make some brief remarks about the implications of my account of sexual desire for sexual morality, suggesting some reasons why it casts doubt on the view that universal participant consent is sufficient for a sexual act to be morally unproblematic. (shrink)
argues that when reproduction is sexual, natural selection can explain why individual organisms possess the traits they do. In stating his argument Matthen makes use of a conception of individual organisms as receptacles for collections of genes—a conception that cannot do the work Matthen requires of it. Either these receptacles are abstract objects, such as bare possibilities for organisms, or they are concrete. The first reading is too weak, since it allows selection to explain individual traits in both sexual and (...) asexual contexts. The only concrete entities we might think of as receptacles for collections of genes are male or female gametes. It is true that in the sexual context selection explains why an individual gamete combines with a second gamete of one type rather than another; however, this is not to say that selection explains why an individual organism has the traits it does. (shrink)
The Football Association has been under pressure to allow girls to play in mixed teams since 1978, following 12-year old Theresa Bennett’s application to play with boys in a local league. In 1991, over a decade after Bennett’s legal challenge, the FA agreed to remove its ban on mixed football and introduced Rule C4 in order to permit males and females to play together in competitive matches under the age of 11. More recently, following a campaign by parents, coaches, local (...) Members of Parliament and the Women’s Sport Foundation, the FA agreed to trial mixed football for the under-12 to under-15 age categories in order to establish, among other things, the risk of injury to players in sex-integrated competitions. A series of exponential changes ensued: between 2010 and 2014, the age at which mixed football was permitted increased from U11 to U16. In 2015, the FA announced the decision to raise the age limit on mixed football from U16 to U18 for the forthcoming 2015–2016 season. We critically examine th... (shrink)
“Female sexual dysfunction” is the type of contested disease that has sparked concern about the role of the pharmaceutical industry in medical science. Many policies have been proposed to manage industry influence without carefully evaluating whether the proposed policies would be successful. We consider a proposal for incorporating citizen stakeholders into scientific research and show, via a detailed case study of the pharmaceutical regulation of flibanserin, that such programs can be co-opted. In closing, we use Holman’s asymmetric arms race framework (...) as a tool for evaluating policies in industry-funded science. (shrink)
This paper examines the problem of selecting a number of candidates to receive a good (admission) from a pool in which there are more qualified applicants than places. I observe that it is rarely possible to order all candidates according to some relevant criterion, such as academic merit, since these standards are inevitably somewhat vague. This means that we are often faced with the task of making selections between near-enough equal candidates. I survey one particular line of response, which says (...) that we should allow our choice of borderline candidates to be guided by non-relevant criteria such as gender-balancing. I argue that this would not, as commonly objected, be a case of sex discrimination if it is to be applied either in favour of men or women. Nonetheless, I argue that such policies are problematic because they violate the demand for publicity, which is required for legitimacy and to assure everyone that discrimination has not in fact taken place. Instead, I suggest that, if we are concerned to avoid discrimination, there may be a case for using lotteries as tie-breakers, not on grounds of fairness but to prevent taint of bias. (shrink)
Sex reassignment surgery is a therapy for gender dysphoria standardly provided only upon a psychiatric authorization. Transgender scholars criticize this practice as unjustified medicalization and stigmatization of transsexual people. By demanding that sex reassignment surgery is not classified as therapy, they imply it should be classified as some kind of a biomedical enhancement. It is argued in this article that this reclassification is empirically and morally implausible because sex reassignment surgery is incompatible with two major views of enhancement. It is (...) incompatible with the nontherapeutic view because it does not improve or augment, above average, any physical or mental trait or function. It is incompatible with the welfarist view because this view, contrary to the transgender scholars’s demands, is compelled to retain the standard practice of providing sex reassignment surgery in order to ensure the optimal balance between its availability, beneficence, and possible harmfulness. (shrink)