Part I. The Ascetic Idealism of Reason
1. Eros and the Idealism of Platonic Reason
2. Aristotelian Virtue, Love and the Ends of Nature
3. God, Will and Unruly Sex
4. Divine Order of Nature
5. Intolerance of Universal Reason
Part II. Rationality in the Service of Desire
1. Epicureanism and Sexual Realism
2. Renaissance and the Humanisation of Eros
3. Hedonism within the Bounds of Rational Order
4. Progressive Rationality and Sexual Reform
5. Libertinism at the Limit of Rationality
Part III. Passion Beyond Reason
1. Mystical and Courtly Love
2. Romantic Critique of Rationality
3. Romantic Philosophy as Religion of Love
4. Death, Fantasy and Indifferent Nature
5. Freud and the Sexual Unconscious
Part IV. Perspectives on Reason and Sexuality
1. Holism of Human Experience
2. Metaphysical Unity of Body and Self
3. Love and Reason within History
4. Subjective Existence and the Sexual Self
5. Phenomenology of Sexual Experience
6. Sex and Oppression
7. Eros and Civilization
8. Politics and Anti-Politics of Sexuality
- Traces the genealogy of ideas of reason, self and sexuality in Western thought, a common topic in gender studies and philosophy courses.
- Develops a convincing argument that western philosophy and religion have distorted - and continue to distort - our experience of sex and love.
- Examines the thinking and works of key philosophers like Montaigne, Spinoza, Hegel, Kierkegaard and Foucault amongst others.
- Keeps the undergraduate student in mind, and explains complex theories and thinkers in a clear and accessible way.