In Sexual Ethics Handbook (forthcoming)

Helga Varden
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Carol Hay
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
This paper considers why obtaining and sustaining a good sexual life tends to be so challenging and why the temptation to settle for a bad one can be so alluring. We engage these questions by cultivating ideas found in the traditions of feminist philosophy and the philosophy of sex and love in dialogue with the works of two unlikely, canonical bedfellows—Immanuel Kant and Hannah Arendt. We propose that some sources of these challenges and temptations are patterned and manifold in that they involve trying to transform, develop, integrate certain unruly emotional structures in oneself, including together with others. Other equally patterned and unruly sources track inherited oppressive or oppressed behaviors and feelings that make emotionally healthy, morally responsible realizations of sexual ways and being more difficult for all parties involved. In contrast to these patterned challenges, some difficulties that face us stem from the fact that humans are genuinely different from one another and evolving—individually, jointly, and collectively—in their sexual needs and wants.
Keywords Immanuel Kant  Hannah Arendt  LGBTQIA  Sexual Desires
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Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts.Rae Langton - 1993 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 22 (4):293-330.

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