2021-04Discussion Papers, Comments, Book Reviews
Ennobling Love and Erotic Elevation: A Response to Six Readings of Ars Erotica


In various guises and cultures, the theme of elevating, ennobling love is a recurrent topos in the premodern erotic theory my book traces. Freed from Plato’s problematic dualistic denigration of the body as prison of the soul and from the modern aesthetic prejudice of disinterestedness, Ars Erotica recaptures the valuable core of ennobling desire by showing how a new somaesthetic approach to sex could channel the power of eros to cultivate qualities of courtesy, grace, skill, self-mastery, and sensitivity to the feelings of others, thus evoking a richer, more positive vision of sex education than we have today.

How to cite:

Shusterman, Richard. “Ennobling Love and Erotic Elevation: A Response to Six Readings of Ars Erotica.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 5, no. 4 (2021): 156-170. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2021.0049.


Richard Shusterman
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA

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