Schopenhauer's Sexual Ethics

In Patrick Hassan (ed.), Schopenhauer's Moral Philosophy. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge (2021)
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This chapter examines the ethical matters that arise from Schopenhauer’s discussions of sexual love and sexual practices. It presents Schopenhauer's remarks on “pederasty”, among other “unnatural lusts”, and attempts to disentangle Schopenhauer’s judgements on these practices from the principles that guide them. It considers these practices in the light of Schopenhauer's ethics of asceticism and his ethics of compassion and concludes that Schopenhauer’s objections to them are not always moral in nature, strictly speaking, and where they are moral, they are not always based on the “unnaturalness” of the practices, but rather the harm that he supposes they may cause.

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David Bather Woods
University of Warwick


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