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Lecture 6

Lecture 6.docx

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De Sousa

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Lecture 6 – October 16 th PHL Summary of last week - Sex and gender dimorphism :reasons for skepticism o Size of the gametes (type of sex cell itself) (indisputable dimorphism) - Sex and gender differentiation: the 12 step program o Those who are regarded to be deviant are much more likely to be authentic to who they believe they are than those who are regard, by society, to be normal o If gender identity and gender assigned at birth are in conflict more likely you are correcting in identifying yourself other than what you are told - The five sexes (or more) - How many genders are there - The nature of statistical dimorphism - The significance of the bell curve o Against identity politics o Qualifications: if you are really in an oppressed group don’t be a victim of your own strategy Statistics, Norms, Value - The mode of the bell curve: the lumpy part (where the majority of people are) - The mean (total divided by the # of individuals) - The median (as many individuals on either side) (the middle) Normative Normality - Statistically normality (where the mode is) - Normative (what ought to be the case) normality = what is supposed to be the case - Statistical and normative are not unrelated - It would be strange to claim that everyone is abnormal - Normal is not what is the most common (what ought to be or ought to be good – majority can be abnormal) This ambiguity plagues both domains - Last week, we saw how it applies to sexual dimorphism or polymorphism - this week and henceforth, it’s going to be applied to the question of normal erotic sex More on Fact and Value - fact value gap - there are 2 leaps, not one, from fact to value 1. from (statistical) fact to normality 2. from normality to positive value or from abnormality to negative disvalue two forms of naturalism th Lecture 6 – October 16 PHL - positive naturalism o its good because its natural (Aristotle: what is by nature proper to each thing will be at once the best and the most pleasant for it)  natural – no human being has interfered with its nature  can do things that are unnatural to nature but come at a high cost - negative naturalism o It’s bad because it’s unnatural (Aquinas; against buggery etc.)  If it’s totally unnatural The two are logically independent - Natural is good / Unnatural is bad - Yet on sex, the negative has loomed larger - Both contrast with variants of antinaturalism - Negative antinaturalism o Nature is what we were put in the world to rise above - Positive antinaturalism o One should be as artificial as possible All these positions are equally gratuitous - But all have trouble saying what nature is (there are at least three different meanings 1. Whatever is fact, without qualification 2. The status quo, or how the world would be without the intervention of human beings 3. What nature intended, as special sense, developed e.g. by Aristotle and Aquinas A peculiar feature of nature 3 - Some things that don’t exist are natural 3ome that exist are unnatural 3 - Their value can’t come from nature or1nature 2 - You don’t really care about endangered species, you just care about that cute ones (e.g. cheetahs not smallpox) 2 Nagel, Solomon, Goldman - Nagel rejects the reproductive model, but still seeks an essence of sex on the phenomenological (at the level of conscious experience) level o Meaning that it’s based on a sense that you can by introspection tell what sez is really about o Looking for essence of sexual desire - Namely: desire and the consciousness of the other’s desire as reflecting
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