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LUSTY WOMEN AND LOOSE IMAGINATION: HUME'S PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY OF CHASTITY

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Abstract:

According to Hume, humans, unlike other group-living animals, cannot accommodate their natural sexual appetite naturally; this is a Rawlsian 'circumstance of justice'. Humans have to formulate conventions or artifices to govern their reproductive relations (and attendant requirements for nurture) in order to maintain their group or social life. Hume implicitly addresses this issue in his discussion of chastity. The paper explicates his argument. This argument, and its underlying philosophical anthropology, is seen to embody a distinctive approach to a striking feature of the human condition -- sexual (and by extension socio-political) relations are universal but not uniform.

Keywords: Anthropology (philosophical); Chastity; Convention; Hume; Mandeville; Rawls; Rousseau; animals; education; justice; nurture; paternity; sex

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Politics, Adam Smith Building, The University, Glasgow G12 8RT., Email: c.j.berry@socsci.gla.ac.uk

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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