Philosophy 290-5

Fall 2011

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-5 Graduate Seminar: Regulation of Intimacy: The Politics of Sex Munoz-Dardé W 2-4 234 Moses

Should we recognize a private sphere of relations among individuals, sexual and intimate relations, which we consider beyond any regulation by the state? Should there be state recognition or regulation of the family, and the relations within the family? What, if anything, is wrong with prostitution? And should any such wrong be reflected in laws which govern prostitution? Should marriage have standing as a state institution? These practical questions raise a number of more general ethical concerns which will be our focus in this seminar: i.) Should some things not be for sale? ii.) In what sense, if any, is the personal political? iii.) Are there basic rights of self-ownership? iv.) Is consent the key to legitimate interaction? v.) What is involved in one person ‘objectifying’ another? vi.) Are there circumstances in which paternalism is permissible or even required?

After a couple of introductory sessions in which we set up the economic, sociological and anthropological background of the main concerns of this set of issues (to the extent that there is a solid body of evidence on these matters) we will move on to consider the following topics:

  1.  Commodification and Value
  2.  Paternalism
  3.  Self-Ownership & Trespass
  4.  Consent
  5.  Objectification
  6.  Treating as a means
  7.  Respect for Persons
  8.  Conclusion: A Humean, Sociological Hypothesis