Sexual Desire: A Philosophical Investigation

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A&C Black, Jun 1, 2006 - Philosophy - 428 pages
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A dazzling treatise, as erudite and eloquent as Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex and considerably more sound in its conclusion† - TLS

"He is an eloquent and practised writer" - The Independent (UK)

When John desires Mary or Mary desires John, what does either of them want? What is meant by innocence, passion, love and arousal, desire, perversion and shame? These are just a few of the questions Roger Scruton addresses in this thought-provoking intellectual adventure. Beginning from purely philosophical premises, and ranging over human life, art and institutions, he surveys the entire field of sexuality; equally dissatisfied with puritanism and permissiveness, he argues for a radical break with recent theories. Upholding traditional morality - though in terms that may shock many of its practitioners - his argument gravitates to that which is candid, serene and consoling in the experience of sexual love.

 

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Contents

1 The problem
1
2 Arousal
16
3 Persons
36
4 Desire
59
5 The individual object
94
6 Sexual phenomena
138
7 The science of sex
180
8 Love
213
11 Sexual morality
322
12 The politics of sex
348
Epilogue
362
Appendix 1 The first person
364
Appendix 2 Intentionality
377
Notes
392
Index of Names
419
Index of Subjects
424

9 Sex and gender
253
10 Perversion
284

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About the author (2006)

Professor Roger Scruton is Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Washington and Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. His other books include Sexual Desire, The West and the Rest, England: An Elegy, News from Somewhere and Gentle Regrets (all published by Continuum).

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