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Blind Date: Sex and Philosophy (book review) Anne Dufourmantelle

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

120619: this is fascinating. this will reward future rereads, much as sex rewards repeats, for the author has ranged widely, focused, speculated, all the ways these concepts oppose and unite, all the ways that most physical presence (sex) consumes/is consumed by that most intellectual abstraction (philosophy), how this unspoken, rarely addressed, essential of human being, is possibly more what makes us human than any other quality. yes animals have sex. to reproduce. we are animals too in this way, of course, but sex is also something we philosophize about...

having read this slowly, during other reading, i am not certain i can express the pleasures of this intimate deconstruction, only note that though she does have some historical depth, mostly to the greeks, and evolution of discussion of sex and philosophy that persists throughout european arts, history, arts, literature, arts, politics, arts- she has virtually nothing on eurasian, asian, arts and philosophy of sex. where i understand it is something important... review continues later...

140619: ok now out of hospital if not on regular regime, i continue review. and there is much to review, there is some question as to genre of work, yes nonfiction, yes philosophy, but she involves the entire ‘western’ cultural evolution of both terms ‘sex’ and ‘philosophy’, so there is art theory, anthropology, politics, history, changes in emphasis, in attention or disregard, obsession or suppression, and some familiar names. whilst not promoting ‘great man’ model of history, there are names emblematic or central to each era, some questioning unreflected-on sex lives of great philosophers, ancient and modern, plato, aristotle, descartes, kant etc. then names obviously central such as st augustine and christian rejections of the vile body, material versus spiritual, will inform centuries of thought, thus burying pagan, roman and greek celebrations of intoxicating pleasures of the body, burying such as nietzsche will later insist is part of the great lie/valuing being over becoming, which is fun to reflect on in the letters quoting his passionate correspondence (with that fraulein his sister never likes and vice-versa...). there is some great exploration of spinoza, whom i must read on again if not also try reading by. there is of course de sade, whom i must at least read more about if not by. for even where i feel if not formulate disputes with certain assertions of the author, i am engaged in thought, i am enjoying the debate, i am enjoying this perhaps not in purely philosophical way but as if just throwing out ideas to receptive conversationalist at the cafe... fun, this...

so this is book to be read but not consumed, deconstruction for fun, not profit (prophet?)... something to return to whenever moved, something never resolved, something as fun (or should be?) as sex (should be?)...

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