The Sleep of Reason: Erotic Experience and Sexual Ethics in Ancient Greece and Rome

Paperback | July 1, 2002

EditorMartha C. Nussbaum, Juha Sihvola

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Sex is beyond reason, and yet we constantly reason about it. So, too, did the peoples of ancient Greece and Rome. But until recently there has been little discussion of their views on erotic experience and sexual ethics.

The Sleep of Reason brings together an international group of philosophers, philologists, literary critics, and historians to consider two questions normally kept separate: how is erotic experience understood in classical texts of various kinds, and what ethical judgments and philosophical arguments are made about sex? From same-sex desire to conjugal love, and from Plato and Aristotle to the Roman Stoic Musonius Rufus, the contributors demonstrate the complexity and diversity of classical sexuality. They also show that the ethics of eros, in both Greece and Rome, shared a number of commonalities: a focus not only on self-mastery, but also on reciprocity; a concern among men not just for penetration and display of their power, but also for being gentle and kind, and for being loved for themselves; and that women and even younger men felt not only gratitude and acceptance, but also joy and sexual desire.

Contributors:
* Eva Cantarella
* Kenneth Dover
* Chris Faraone
* Simon Goldhill
* Stephen Halliwell
* David M. Halperin
* J. Samuel Houser
* Maarit Kaimio
* David Konstan
* David Leitao
* Martha C. Nussbaum
* A. W. Price
* Juha Sihvola

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From the Publisher

Sex is beyond reason, and yet we constantly reason about it. So, too, did the peoples of ancient Greece and Rome. But until recently there has been little discussion of their views on erotic experience and sexual ethics.The Sleep of Reason brings together an international group of philosophers, philologists, literary critics, and histo...

From the Jacket

Sex is beyond reason, and yet we constantly reason about it. So, too, did the peoples of ancient Greece and Rome. But until recently there has been little discussion of their views on erotic experience and sexual ethics. The Sleep of Reason brings together an international group of philosophers, philologists, literary critics, and hist...

Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. She is the author of numerous works, including Women and Human Development, Cultivating Humanity, and Upheavals of Thought.Juha Sihvola is a professor of history at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He is the autho...

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Format:PaperbackPublished:July 1, 2002Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226609154

ISBN - 13:9780226609157

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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

INTRODUCTION

1. FORGETTING FOUCAULT: ACTS, IDENTITIES,
AND THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY

2. EROS AND ETHICAL NORMS:
PHILOSOPHERS RESPOND TO A CULTURAL DILEMMA

3. EROTIC EXPERIENCE IN THE CONJUGAL BED:
GOOD WIVES IN GREEK TRAGEDY

4. ARISTOPHANIC SEX: THE EROTICS OF SHAMELESSNESS

5. THE LEGEND OF THE SACRED BAND

6. PLATO, ZENO, AND THE OBJECT OF LOVE

7. TWO WOMEN OF SAMOS

8. THE FIRST HOMOSEXUALITY?

9. MARRIAGE AND SEXUALITY IN REPUBLICAN ROME:
A ROMAN CONJUGAL LOVE STORY

10. THE INCOMPLETE FEMINISM OF MUSONIUS RUFUS,
PLATONIST, STOIC, AND ROMAN

11. EROS AND APHRODISIA IN THE WORKS OF
DIO CHRYSOSTOM

12. ENACTING EROS

13. THE EROTIC EXPERIENCE OF LOOKING: CULTURAL CONFLICT
AND THE GAZE IN EMPIRE CULTURE

14. AGENTS AND VICTIMS: CONSTRUCTIONS OF GENDER AND
DESIRE IN ANCIENT GREEK LOVE MAGIC

APPENDIX: MAJOR HISTORICAL FIGURES DISCUSSED

CONTRIBUTORS

INDEXES