By Martha C. Nussbaum

Sex is past cause, and but we always cause approximately it. So, too, did the peoples of historic Greece and Rome. yet till lately there was little dialogue in their perspectives on erotic adventure and sexual ethics.

The Sleep of Reason brings jointly a world workforce of philosophers, philologists, literary critics, and historians to contemplate questions in most cases stored separate: how is erotic event understood in classical texts of assorted varieties, and what moral judgments and philosophical arguments are made approximately intercourse? From same-sex wish to conjugal love, and from Plato and Aristotle to the Roman Stoic Musonius Rufus, the participants exhibit the complexity and variety of classical sexuality. in addition they convey that the ethics of eros, in either Greece and Rome, shared a few commonalities: a spotlight not just on self-mastery, but in addition on reciprocity; a priority between males not only for penetration and reveal in their energy, but in addition for being mild and type, and for being enjoyed for themselves; and that ladies or even more youthful males felt not just gratitude and reputation, but additionally pleasure 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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As Gleason observes, “Foucault’s description of the nineteenth-century homosexual fits the cinaedus remarkably well. . ” Gleason hastens to add, however, that “what made [the cinaedus] different from normal folk . . ” 26 32 forgetting foucault Gleason’s conclusion has now been massively confirmed by Craig Williams, a specialist in ancient Roman literature, who has undertaken an exhaustive survey of the extant Latin sources. ” Hence, the cinaedus was not the same thing as a “passive homosexual,” since it was neither his expression of sexual desire for other males nor his proclivity for playing the receptive role in anal intercourse that gave him his identity or uniquely defined him as a cinaedus: he might engage in sexual practices with women and still be a cinaedus, and a man did not automatically become a cinaedus simply by being penetrated (victims of rape, for example, would not normally be described as such).

7 Whence the conclusion that before the modern era sexual deviance could be predicated only of acts, not of persons or identities. 8 Although I am about to argue strenuously against it, I want to be very clear that my aim is to revise it, not to reverse it. I do not want to return us to some unreconstructed or reactionary belief in the universal validity and applicability of modern sexual concepts or to promote an uncritical acceptance of the categories and classifications of sexuality as true descriptors of the basic realities of human erotic life—and, therefore, as unproblematic instruments for the historical analysis of human culture in all times and places.

I also believe it is what has led us to convert his strategic appeal to bodies and pleasures as a means of resistance to the apparatus of sexuality into a theoretical specification of the irreducible elements of sexuality. And it is what has made Foucault’s intellectual example increasingly, and quite properly, forgettable. If indeed it is as a theorist of sexuality that we remember Foucault, perhaps Baudrillard was right after all: the greatest service we can do to him, and to ourselves, is to forget him as quickly as possible.

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