606GoldmanNotes.docx - Goldmanu2019s u201cPlain Sexu201d...

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Goldman’s “Plain Sex” G says that a desire is sexual iff it is a desire for physical contact and the pleasure that such contact brings Are there two objects? (Contact and pleasure?) Are both of these ends “separable”? Or is the idea that pleasure is the real end and contact is desired as a means to that end? Can you not have a sexual desire which is simply a desire to please the other? (Discuss…) As with N’s definition, we should remember that a desire counts as sexual iff what is desired is this kind of object; it doesn’t matter whether the person actually gets the pleasurable contact desired. G is somewhat unsure how to deal with these questions. (This was the point of his discussion of Butler and Aristotle; he thinks sex is unusual in that pleasure may be (one of) the goals of intentional activity in this case, and not just a by-product.) To show that his definition achieves reflective equilibrium, he considers various seeming counter- examples; he also considers some implications of the definition. (Later we’ll talk about its moral or ethical implications.) 270: “We all know what sex is…” Do we? That seems non-obvious. We can all agree on certain clear cases of sex, or sexual activity; do we know what it is that these cases have in common?

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