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Sex, Love, and GenderA Kantian Theory$
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Helga Varden

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812838

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812838.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 June 2021

Kant on Sexual Violence and Oppression

Kant on Sexual Violence and Oppression

(p.138) 4 Kant on Sexual Violence and Oppression
Sex, Love, and Gender

Helga Varden

Oxford University Press

This chapter links Kant’s account of human nature to unruly sexual activity and to the consequences of sexual or gendered violence and oppression. I use the account to explore the temptation of engaging in sexual violence and oppression, the damage sexual wrongdoing can do, why and how we can heal from sexual violence, why there are historical patterns to sexual violence and oppression, and why, despite the fact that our sexually loving selves are unruly and have as possible corollaries the strongest of human emotions (passions), we are morally (ethically and legally) responsible for them. This chapter also shows how sexualized wrongdoing can be used as part of violent oppression and atrocities. Additionally, Kant’s accounts of barbarism and of formal and material wrongdoing enable us to describe how human beings can face conditions or situations in which there is no morally good way out, without abandoning Kant’s idea of absolute moral prohibitions.

Keywords:   sexual violence, sexual oppression, sexual wrongdoing, atrocities, passions, barbarism, absolute moral prohibitions, formal and material wrongdoing

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