October 24, 2012 – PHIL 1102
Relationship, friendship, now we’re moving onto prostitution
Two prostitution articles:
1. Arkes – page 229
2. Ericsson – page 239
Started at 2500 BC
o List of permissions included transvestite entertainers, and male/female prositutes
1075 BC – Asserians – “If the wives of a man, or the daughters of a man, their heads shall be veiled. But if
the prositutes go onto the street, they shall not be veiled”
o Hetaira – female companions, higher up prositutes, accompany higher-up men not necessarily
Pericles had a hetaera named Aspaezia
o Lower level – cortizans and prostitutes
o Rent from brothels = legitimate source of income
What is prostitution – sexual relationships as a result of
o Involving neither love or affection
o Financial transaction
Arkes – Prostitution is morally impermissible
Reaction to Goldman’s idea that sex is just a physical phenomena
His argument: Prostitution is intrinsically bad – something morally wrong with prostitution itself
o The act itself is wrong
Doesn’t argue against prostitution using its bad consequences
It’s wrong not because of its bad consequences, but it’s wrong because it is wrong in itself
o Goldman said the opposite, that it’s morally neutral
Just because that there’s a rise in pickpocketing during a Yankees baseball game, doesn’t mean that
baseball is wrong itself.
Positive part of his account: we traditionally take the word prostitute as a term of contempt, we look
down on it (i.e., insulting someone using the word whore which is linked to prostitution) why we have
this contempt for prostitution
o The disparity that is related to a loving sexual act, and the kind of sex that is involved in
prostitution; prostitution sex isn’t associated with love and all that is related to it.
o Sex is deeply personal. It is inextricably linked to love.
o Marriage vs. prostitution
Page 233 “Prostitution inescapably implies . . .“
o Animal-like, hydraulic action play on words
Does not argue against actual prostitution and buying sex, argues more against the lack of genuine
affection October 24, 2012 – PHIL 1102
Encases idea of sex within the context of marriage
Not a committed loving relationship so therefore it’s bad.
Looks at Goldman’s example of rape (it’s bad because of how people treat each other, not the actual sex)
o Arkes disagrees
o Says there is something fundamentally different about sex than other kinds of activities
o Different in ways that are morally significant
o Sex is not like playing golf or driving a car
Page 236 “There was an awareness. . .”
There’s something about sex that makes it worse than other activities
Rape is worse than other activities in which you are taken advantage of because it involves sex
o i.e., Rape is worse than pickpocketing
Why does he bring up rape in his argument for prostitution?
We don’t regard sex as morally on par with other activities; therefore prostitution is morally inferior to
other types of sexual activities (the ones involved in marriage).
Ericsson – Prostitution is morally permissible
Common Charges against Prostitution
1. The conventional morality charge – Common view that prostitution is bad because it is morally bad and
should be stopped.
Why do we have this hostile view of prostitution? Sociological reason?
o Because of its relationship to reproduction and a monogamous marriage
o Prostitution doesn’t cater to monogamy
o We follow along with what people think
o Sex should best be represented by marriage
o Prostitution doesn’t represe