Philosophy of Sex

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Abstract

Sex raises fundamental philosophical questions about topics such as personal identity and well-being, the relationship between emotion and reason, the nature of autonomy and consent, and the dual nature of persons as individuals but also social beings. This article serves as an overview of the philosophy of sex in the English-speaking philosophical tradition and explicates philosophical debate in several specific areas: sexual objectification, rape and consent, sex work, sexual identities and queer theory, the medicalization of sexuality, and polyamory. It situates these topics in a framework of shifting cultural attitudes and argues for the importance of the philosophy of sex. It ends with some suggestions about future research, particularly with regard to the changing nature of pornography and sexual justice in legal theory.

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