Seeking Desire: Reflections on Blackburn’s Lust

Social Philosophy Today, Vol. 22, pp. 219-230, 2007

18 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2011

See all articles by Patricia Marino

Patricia Marino

University of Waterloo - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: September 1, 2005

Abstract

This paper is a critical discussion of Simon Blackburn's recent work on lust. Blackburn develops a view on which lust is decent only when part of a pure mutuality in sex, and is best left alone -- we ought not tamper with its "freedom of flow." I argue that this treatment, which I believe reflects commonly held views, fails in several ways. First, it does not square with the fact that we pursue lust as a good in itself. Second, pure mutuality is hard to come by and almost impossible to recognize, so Blackburn's account is more restrictive than it may seem. Third, on such a view, masturbation is morally sanctioned only insofar as it mimics real sex; this doesn't seem right. Finally, such a perspective fits ill with some recent research on the biology of lust in women.

Keywords: lust, Simon Blackburn, sexual desire

Suggested Citation

Marino, Patricia, Seeking Desire: Reflections on Blackburn’s Lust (September 1, 2005). Social Philosophy Today, Vol. 22, pp. 219-230, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1969087

Patricia Marino (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo - Department of Philosophy ( email )

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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