Let’s Talk About…Monogamy?

Screenshot of Greta Garbo and John Barrymore from the trailer for the film Grand Hotel. MGM: 1932

In the spirit of St. Valentine’s Day, we turn to the subject of romance. But the outlook for monogamy seems to be bleak. In a study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University, soon to be published in the Journal of Sex Research, 40% of a sample of 434 young heterosexual couples, married and unmarried, gave conflicting answers when partners were asked individually whether they had agreed to be monogamous. Furthermore, of those who were in agreement about monogamy at least in principle, 30% reported that at least one partner had not kept to it. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About…Monogamy?”

Foe of Feminists Revived

Image: Bilz 1894

Last year biological determinism in the study of sex and gender experienced a resurgence, with the professor of Development Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge, Simon Baron-Cohen, as its new figurehead.

In the spring months of 2010, the issue of female representation in public and intellectual spheres was passed along from public intellectual to public intellectual in a series of finger-pointing articles featured on the Guardian website.

Critic and novelist Bidisha initiatiated the debate with a scathing attack on the sorry state of the literary festivals and competitions that she had been involved with, complaining that she was ‘tired of being the token woman’. In the process Bidisha implicated Hay’s How The Light Gets In philosophy festival for its disproportionate number of male speakers. She revealed that she was happy to have had to drop out of the event on account of other engagements, highlighting that the only approvable gender balance in the whole festival was unfortunately within the entertainment tents.

Julian Baggini, the increasingly public face of philosophy as well as adviser to the How The Light Gets In festival, responded with an appeal to the practical issues involved in booking female guests, who he maintains are culpable to some extent Continue reading “Foe of Feminists Revived”

College Sex: Philosophy for Everyone

So what does philosophy have to do with the real world, with things people care about, spend time on, and even obsess over?  What does philosophy have to do with life?

As it turns out, quite a lot. Wiley-Blackwell’s Philosophy For Everyone series are going to introduce the general reader to new ways of thinking about things they’re already interested in.

The above video is a promo for one of the books recently released in August of this year on College Sex. The book examines, among other things, the ethical issues of dating, cheating, courtship, homosexual experimentation, and drug and alcohol use. Intellectually raunchy stuff.

There’s a full list of titles here.

Philosophy For Everyone

Where Philosophy Comes To Life

Welcome to the home of the Wiley-Blackwell Philosophy for Everyone book series!

So what does philosophy have to do with the real world, with things people care about, spend time on, and even obsess over?  What does philosophy have to do with life?

As it turns out, quite a lot, and this series of books will introduce you to a new way of thinking about things you’re already interested in. You can read a book or two in the series to find out how, but in the meantime on this site you will find information, sample content, news, updates, and further resources for the Philosophy for Everyone series.  We’ll let you know about upcoming books in the series, interesting coverage, author events, and anything else that will be of interest to readers.

The Books!

You can find the full list of titles here, and you can order those that are currently or soon to be available here.

Write for The Philosopher’s Eye

Image: Gaetan Lee

Are you a philosophy graduate looking for a writing opportunity?

We want to hear from budding writers who are looking for a chance to write about philosophy for a popular blog, and who want to show how the ideas of philosophy can improve our understanding of current affairs.

Do you feel that philosophy has something important to say about the political beliefs of Sarah Palin? Or the slapstick of Charlie Chaplin? Do you think that new technology changes the limits of human potential? Do you want to show why aesthetics is relevant beyond the tedious ‘but-is-it-art‘ questions of the mainstream?

Sex! Drugs! Pop! Violence! Videogames! Hume! We want your take on it.

We can’t pay you per se; we’re looking for people who want to work for the sheer, electric joy of peeling back layers of ambiguity to expose the quivering, naked Truth of It All. As well as the opportunity to write for an international audience, we’ll also create a profile for you on our News Editors page.

Contact us at PHCOeditorial@wiley.com to tell us about your interests and background, and send a sample post of around 300 words. Nominations of others are welcome.

Am I Woman? But I Roar!

431px-Symbol_venus In The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir offers her own response to the question ‘what is a woman?’ Most generally, the French philosopher suggests that women are neither constituted nor recognized by their own autonomy but, rather, by their ‘relation to-’. De Beauvoir calls attention to the historical subjugation that has resulted from this referential identity, specifically when women have been defined in terms of their ‘relation to-men.’

Gold medalist Caster Semenya, a runner from South Africa, has recently seen the ugliness of this subjugation. Doctors across the globe are trying to determine Semenya’s ‘relation to-women,’ trying to determine if Semenya has enough ‘female characteristics’ to continue competing as a ‘woman athlete.’ Unfortunately, many of her fellow runners have already decided the issue for themselves. Elisa Cusma, for example, an Italian woman (I mean … runner), responded simply: “These kind of people should not run with us” [sic]. Continue reading “Am I Woman? But I Roar!”

Sex Verification Test

Gender_neutralIn the weeks to follow, the International Association of Athletic Federations, IAAF, will decide whether South African runner Caster Semenya will be stripped of the gold medal, after winning the women 800-meter race last Wednesday in Berlin at the World Championships in Athletics. Semenya is not guilty of the usual: doping. What is at issue, instead, is whether Semenya was eligible to race as a woman. Continue reading “Sex Verification Test”