Sexual Use and What to Do About it

Essays in Philosophy 2:2 (June 2001)

Alan Soble, ed., 'The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings', 4th Edition (2002), pp. 225-258

Alan Soble and Nicholas Power, eds., 'The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings', 5th Edition (2008), pp. 259-288

52 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2013

See all articles by Alan Soble

Alan Soble

University of New Orleans

Date Written: January 1, 2001

Abstract

The 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant described human sexuality in hideous terms; on his view, by their essence sexual desire and sexual activity are always morally suspicious. Given Kant's metaphysics or anthropology of human sexuality, all sexual activity apparently conflicts with the Second Formulation of his Categorical Imperative and hence is morally wrong. An analytic typology of solutions to this problem is proposed and within this typology recent philosophical ethics of sexuality are critically discussed. Kant's stated solution, the Biblical idea that marriage unites the two persons into one, is not really the solution he proposes; it is more subtle than that, and depends instead on the duty not to harm the self.

Keywords: Immanuel Kant, sexuality, sexual ethics, objectification, marriage, Second Formulation, Formulation of Humanity, Thomas Mappes, Alan Goldman, Martha Nussbaum

Suggested Citation

Soble, Alan, Sexual Use and What to Do About it (January 1, 2001). Essays in Philosophy 2:2 (June 2001); Alan Soble and Nicholas Power, eds., 'The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings', 5th Edition (2008), pp. 259-288. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2324965

Alan Soble (Contact Author)

University of New Orleans ( email )

2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148
United States

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