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Lecture 6

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University of Toronto St. George
Ronniede Sousa

- Normative normality = what is supposed to be the case - Statistical and normative are related, but it could make sense that lots of people are abnormal, ex. The majority of people requiring vision correction - Way to breach the fact/value gap – what is statistical is normal, and what is normal is good (or what is abnormal is bad) - Positive naturalism = the view that it’s good because it’s natural - Positive naturalism can actually be true, notwithstanding the logical fallacy here - Negative naturalism = the view that it’s bad because it’s unnatural - These two things are logically independent - Negative anti-naturalism = if it’s natural, it’s bad - Positive anti-naturalism = if it’s artificial, it’s good - All of these positions are gratuitous because nature has three different meanings - Nature can be just what happens to exist in the world - Nature can also be the status quo, or how the world would be without the intervention of humans - Nature can also be seen as what nature intended, which is a special sense of nature developed by Aristotle and Aquinas - A peculiar feature of this type of nature is that something things that don’t exist are natural (ex. Perfect eyesight) while some things that exist are unnatural (ex. Poor eyesight) - The value of this type of nature can’t come from either of these previous types of nature (caring about saving endangered cheetahs but not endangered smallpox) Nagel - Rejects the reproductive model but still seeks an essence of sex on the phenomenological level - It’s based on a sense that you can by introspection tell what sex is “really about” - The reproductive model is false because very few people feel sexual desire because they desire reproduction - Nagel’s idea focuses on the proliferation of levels of awareness - This captures an existentialist insight about the way that the awareness of the other is always out of my control - In sexual encounters, there is a sense of the possibility of unity that would escape this isolation - So the existential excitement of confronting another consciousness enhances the sexual excitement - But really, Nagel has left out the sex part altogether! - It’s all about the first approach, flirtation and seduction - Nagel has ignored the possibility that one might want to have sex with someone again and again – when the issue of levels of consciousness isn’t really at the forefront but sensual pleasure is - Nagel is driven to having to say these are essentially cases of perversion - Romeo’s desire is vague – not desiring that but just for Juliet - The mutual intensification of their desire forms a positive feedback loop, where the most aroused Juliet gets, the more aroused Romeo gets, and so on - All such loops lead to catastrophe unless disrupted Altruists’ dilemma - Egoists’ dilemma = when everyone is too stubborn to compromise, then nothing ever gets done - But altruists are worse off because once united their desire has to focus on wanting that - They simply want to do what the other one wants to do, so they can never find anything to do, since they can’t decide on anything - They are worse off than egoists whose independent desires might happen to coincide - Each needs to sense the other’s own want, even though they won’t admit it - We are afraid of the pollution of love by sex - What if one only agrees to what the other wants because he wants something from the other? - Exactly the converse is also a threat – what if he agrees to sex just because he loves you/ - We can also fear the pollution of sex by love - There are two types of desire – the desire that is motivated by some other reason (ex. I desire to fill the glass with water because I desire to drink it) and the desire that exists in and of itself - In both sex and intimacy, mild attraction is intensified by the other’s interest - In both, mild dissatisfaction can turn to repulsion under the same conditions (ex. If you aren’t attracted to someone but he makes an advance, you will be repulsed and find him creepy, but if you are attracted to him, you would be pleased) Moulton’s critique of Solomon - Solomon thinks sex is about communication - But after while there isn’t all that much new stuff to communicate sexually - He has ignored the statistically normal long term sex - To show trust, a joint checking account is better than sex - As a paradigm of disinterested tenderness, love of a child is better than sexual love Goldman - If the end of sex is really intrinsic to sex, then defin
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