Philosophy of Love, Sex, and Marriage: An Introduction (e-Book) book cover

Philosophy of Love, Sex, and Marriage

An Introduction

By Raja Halwani

© 2010 – Routledge

344 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415993517
pub: 2010-03-31
Hardback: 9780415993500
pub: 2010-03-31

FREE Standard Shipping!
Comp Exam Copy


How is love different from lust or infatuation? Do love and marriage really go together “like a horse and carriage”? Does sex have any necessary connection to either? And how important are love, sex, and marriage to a well-lived life? In this lively, lucid, and comprehensive textbook, Raja Halwani pursues the philosophical questions inherent in these three important aspects of human relationships, exploring the nature, uses, and ethics of romantic love, sexuality, and marriage.

The book is structured in three parts:

  • Love begins by examining how romantic love differs from other types of love, such as friendship and parental love. It asks which properties of love are essential, whether people have a choice in whom they love, and whether lovers have moral obligations to one another that differ from those they owe to others
  • Sex demonstrates the difficulty in defining sex and the sexual, and examines what constitutes good and bad sex in terms of pleasure, 'naturalness', and moral permissibility. It offers theoretical and applied ethical approaches to a wide range of sexual phenomena
  • Marriage traces the history of the institution, and describes the various forms in which marriage exists and the reasons why people marry. It also surveys accounts of why people should or should not marry, and introduces the main arguments for and against gay marriage.

Features include:

  • suggestions for further reading
  • online eResource site with dowloadable discussion questions
  • a clear, jargon-free writing style.


'Raja Halwani tackles these important subjects with characteristic energy, incisiveness, and wit. Even where you disagree with him, you learn from him. This book deserves a wide audience.'John Corvino, Wayne State University, USA

'Skillfully combines meticulous philosophical analysis of contemporary romantic and sexual mores with vivid, earthy examples of the problems and permutations of actually living them.'Jane O'Grady, City University London, Times Higher Education

'A provocative and immensely helpful introduction to this area … I recommend it.' – Christian Perring, Metapsychology Online Reviews

Table of Contents

Part I: Love Chapter 1: What Is Love? 1. Three Types of Love 2. Characterizing Romantic Love 3. Romantic Love as an Emotion 4. Generally Necessary Features of Romantic Love 5. Romantic Love and Infatuation Chapter 2: Romantic Love 1. Aristophanes on Union 2. Nozick, Soble, and Solomon on Union 3. Romantic Love and Robust Concern 4. Sex and the Durability of Romantic Love Chapter 3: The Basis of Romantic Love 1. Socrates’ Speech in Praise of Romantic Love 2. Loving for Reasons 3. What Do We Love? Properties of the Beloved 4. Different Types of Properties and Love’s Durability and Depth Chapter 4: Love and Morality 1. Love and Morality 2. Moral Restrictions on Love 3. The Prudentiality of Love Part II: Sex Chapter 5: What Is Sex? 1. Defining Sexual Acts 2. Defining Sexual Desire 3. Defining Sexual Pleasure 4. Casual Sex, Adultery, and Prostitution Chapter 6: Sex, Pleasure, and Morality 1. Sexual Pleasure and Other Values of Sex Acts 2. Consequentialism and Sex 3. Virtues, Vices, and Sex Chapter 7: Sexual Objectification 1. What Is Sexual Objectification? 2. What Is Morally Wrong with Sexual Objectification? 3. Nussbaum on Objectification 4. Soble on Objectification 5. Kant and Objectification 6. Women and Pornography Chapter 8: Sexual Perversion and Fantasy 1. Sexual Perversion 2. Fantasy Part III: Marriage Chapter 9: What Is Marriage? 1. Defining Marriage 2. Monogamy Chapter 10: Controversies Over Same-Sex Marriage 1. Preliminaries 2. The Natural Law Tradition 3. The Slippery Slope Argument 4. The "Undermining Marriage" Argument 5. Richard Mohr’s Argument for Same-Sex Marriage 6. Cheshire Calhoun’s Argument for Same-Sex Marriage 7. Claudia Card’s Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage 8. The Assimilation and Cultural Injustice Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage 9. The Political Question

About the Author

Raja Halwani is Professor of Philosophy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is the author of Virtuous Liaisons: Care, Love, Sex, and Virtue Ethics, the editor of Sex and Ethics: Essays on Sexuality, Virtue, and the Good Life, and the co-author (with Tomis Kapitan) of The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Philosophical Essays on Self-Determination, Terrorism, and the One-State Solution.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy