Sex, Love & Friendship (PHIL*1030) | College of Arts

Sex, Love & Friendship (PHIL*1030)

Code and section: PHIL*1030*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: John Hacker-Wright


This course will introduce students to analytic philosophy through addressing conceptual and ethical questions concerning sex and love. The course will be divided between issues about love and issues about sex and sexuality. The first half of the course will address conceptual and ethical issues concerning love. We will critically examine current understandings of love as biological and as a social construct. We will raise the question of whether our current understandings of love are adequate or whether they might be exclusive of important alternative understandings, such as polyamory. Our second unit turns to questions of sex. Our focus here will be ethical and political: what is good sex, in the ethical sense? What is sexual perversion, and is it bad? What role, if any, does the state have in intervening with sexual activity. Is pornography bad? Over the second half, we will engage in course project to communicate our thinking about these matters to a broader public. The course will be entirely on-line and there will be no required, scheduled meetings. Evaluations will be on the basis of writing assignments and quizzes.

Course Outline