Francesco Orsi is a senior researcher at the UT Department of Philosophy. His research interests include meta-ethics, value theory, and the history of ethics. In January, Orsi’s book on Value Theory came out in print.
This year I taught the course on Ethics and the Philosophy of Sex for the third time in Tartu. While this is not my particular area of research, I had long been curious to read what philosophers had written on the topic. Sexuality had been a constant but peripheral concern of philosophers at least until Freud’s theories became popular. But an explosion of interest occurred from the late 1960s on, possibly as an academic output of the so-called sexual revolution occurring in Western Europe and North America.
Philosophers, at least in the Anglo-American academic world, began bringing the tools of rational argumentation and careful analysis of concepts to work in an area where many of their predecessors had let themselves loose (intellectually speaking), probably swayed by personal biases or simply lack of sufficient first-hand experience.
While studying the literature, it became clear to me that launching a course would be a good idea. The topic would attract interest, students would be able to relate to it, and, perhaps most importantly, it could be used as a channel to ease students into learning and practicing philosophical modes of thinking and arguing. Continue reading