Our amorous and erotic experiences do not simply bring us pleasure; they shape our very identities, our ways of relating to ourselves, each other and our shared world. This volume reflects on some of our most prevalent assumptions relating to identity, the body, monogamy, libido, sexual identity, seduction, fidelity, orgasm, and more.The book covers common conflicts and confusions and includes work by established scholars and innovative new thinkers. Philosophically challenging but highly readable, the volume is ideal for a wide range of courses on love and sex, including those taught in philosophy and gender studies.

Summary

Our amorous and erotic experiences do not simply bring us pleasure; they shape our very identities, our ways of relating to ourselves, each other and our shared world. This volume challenges some of our most prevalent assumptions relating to identity, the body, monogamy, libido, sexual identity, seduction, fidelity, orgasm, and more. In twelve original and philosophically thought-provoking essays, the authors reflect on the broader meanings of love and sex: what their shifting historical meanings entail for us in the present; how they are constrained by social conventions; the ambiguous juxtaposition of agency and passivity that they reveal; how they shape and are formed by political institutions; the opportunities they present to resist the confines of gender and sexual orientation; how cultural artefacts can become incorporated into the body; and how love and sex both form and justify our ethical world views. Ideal for students both in philosophy and gender studies, this highly readable book takes us to the very heart of two of the most important dimensions of human experience and meaning-making: to the seductive and alluring, confusing and frustrating, realms of love and sex.

Reviews

An eclectic and fascinating collection. Diverse perspectives and approaches are brought to bear on a broad range of issues concerning sex and love. The volume's aim is not to supply conclusive answers, definitions, or theories, but to draw attention to more (and subtler) questions, ideas, and possibilities. It is emphatically successful. Carrie Jenkins, Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia

From a new reading of Plato’s understanding of erotic love to a scientific criticism of clichéd gender roles in heterosexual relationships, from a defence of polyamory to a discussion of the failed medicalization of feminine sexuality, there’s something in here for everyone: a refreshingly varied collection of essays on philosophical topics in sex and love. Carol Hay, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Gender Studies, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Table of Contents

Part I: Desire’s Dissonance / 1. Introduction: Desire’s Dissonance, Sarah LaChance Adams, Christopher Davidson, and Caroline Lundquist / Part II: Defining Desire / 2. Finding and Then Losing Your Way, Louis A. Ruprecht Jr. / 3. Love, and a Romantic Living Room: Remarks for an Inquiry on Ordinary Love Today, Chiara Piazzesi / 4. Love at the Limit of Phenomenology (à la Sartre and Marion), Yong Dou (Michael) Kim / 5. Monogamism and Polyamorism: A Weberian Analysis, Erik Jansson Boström Part III: Sex, Love, and Agency / 6. Friendless Women and the Myth of Male Nonage, Elena Clare Cuffari / 7. Revolutionary Politics of Love: Pussy Riot and Punk Rock as Feminist Practice, Fulden Ibrahimhakkioglu / 8. Practice in Paradox: What We Can Learn About Love from Relationships between Parents and Young Adult Children, Christine Overall / Part IV:Embodiment and Culture / 9. Orchid Love, Phoebe Hart / 10. Failed Medicalization and the Cultural Iconography of Feminine Sexuality, Rebecca Kukla / 11. Being Through Love: The Collaborative Construction of a Sexual Body, Amy E. Taylor Part V: Truth and Deception / 12 The Power of Seduction, Alain Beauclair / 13. Some Notes on Faking, Hildur Kalman / Notes / Bibliography / Index / Notes on Contributors

Author Bio

Sarah LaChance Adams is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Superior. Her previous publications include Coming to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering (co-edited with Caroline Lundquist, 2013) and Mad Mothers, Bad Mothers, and What a “Good” Mother Would Do: The Ethics of Ambivalence (2014).

Christopher M. Davidson is Assistant Professor at Ball State University.

Caroline R. Lundquist is Community Philosophy Institute Coordinator at the University of Oregon. Her previous publications include Coming to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering (co-edited with Sarah LaChance Adams, 2013).