Sex, Love, and Gender: A Kantian Theory

ISBN : 9780198812838

Helga Varden
384 ページ
153 x 234 mm

Sex, Love, and Gender is the first volume to present a comprehensive philosophical theory that brings together all of Kant's practical philosophy - found across his works on ethics, justice, anthropology, history, and religion - and provide a critique of emotionally healthy and morally permissible sexual, loving, gendered being. By rethinking Kant's work on human nature and making space for sex, love, and gender within his moral accounts of freedom, the book shows how, despite his austere and even anti-sex, cisist, sexist, and heterosexist reputation, Kant's writings on happiness and virtue (Part I) and right (Part II) in fact yield fertile philosophical ground on which we can explore specific contemporary issues such as abortion, sexual orientation, sexual or gendered identity, marriage, trade in sexual services, and sex- or gender-based oppression. Indeed, Kant's philosophy provides us with resources to appreciate and value the diversity of human ways of loving and the existential importance of our embodied, social selves. Structured on a thematic basis, with introductions to assist those new to Kant's philosophy, this book will be a valuable resource for anyone who cares about these issues and wants to make sense of them.




Part I. Sex, Love, and Gender: Happiness & Virtue

Introduction to Part I

1 Sexual and Affectionate Love: Happiness and Moral Responsibility

2 Kant and Women

3 Kant on Sex: Reconsidered

4 Sexual Violence & Oppression

Concluding Part I: Reconciling Noumena and Embodied, Social Kantian Agents

Part II. Sex, Love, and Gender: Right

Introduction to Part II

5 The Innate Right to Freedom: Abortion, Sodomy, and Obscenity Laws

6 Private Right: Marriage & Trade in Sexual Services

7 Public Right: Systemic Justice

Concluding Part II: Justice as Rightful, Human Freedom


Helga Varden is an associate professor in philosophy and in gender and women studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has published on a range of classical philosophical issues-- including Kant's answer to the murderer at the door, private property, political obligations, and political legitimacy-as well as on applied issues such as terrorism, poverty, and non-human animals. With a particular interest in Kant's contributions both to the philosophical canon and to contemporary issues, Varden is one of the few Kant scholars to have brought Kant's ideas to bear also on core issues in feminist philosophy as well as in the philosophy of sex and love, including abortion and same-sex marriage.