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Sexual SolipsismPhilosophical Essays on Pornography and Objectification$
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Rae Langton

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247066.001.0001

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Love and Solipsism

Love and Solipsism

(p.357) 15 Love and Solipsism
Sexual Solipsism

Rae Langton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

For Kant, moral reciprocity is intensely present in love and friendship, but he is gloomy about sexual love, which can make a person into ‘an object of appetite’. Two interpretations: sexual love can be reductive, regarding the other as a mere body, for physical gratification (Herman); it can be invasive, regarding the other as a person, but one to be annexed, taken over (Korsgaard) — here Proust's description of love provides a ghastly illustration. Both pathologies are solipsistic: the other person disappears, whether by reduction, or by absorption. What is the remedy for this solipsism? The reciprocity in love and friendship, as Kant described.

Keywords:   Kant, reciprocity, love, friendship, reductive, invasive, Herman, Korsgaard, Proust

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