Abstracts are sought for a new title in the Wiley-Blackwell series Philosophy for Everyone, under the general editorship of Fritz Allhoff. As with previous titles now subsumed under the series—Wine & Philosophy, Beer & Philosophy, Food & Philosophy, and Running & Philosophy—College, Sex, & Philosophy will integrate the insights of philosophers, interdisciplinary academics such as sociologists and psychologists. The abstracts and resulting selected papers should be written for an educated, but non-specialized, audience.
This edition would explore the philosophical issues concerning the sexual practices of college students, people roughly 18-23 years of age. This unique social space has many important issues that are can be investigated in a meaningful and assessable way, namely ethical issues of dating, cheating, courtship, pregnancy, homosexual experimentation, drug and alcohol use, and more as it pertains to the college framework. Essays will introduce philosophers and their arguments to the dilemmas with critical rigor, insight, and humor. Possible topics include:
Test Driving the Car
Friends with benefits: Is this a college age phenomenon or is the age group just the last to catch on? Is this relationship, or lack of one, more honest than the status quo? Or is someone always hurt, having different intentions and hopes? Is this an evolved arrangement or a primitive one? What role does honesty play and is this treating someone as an end or means to an end?
Monogamy and Mrs. Degrees: The antithesis to friends with benefits would be the traditional exclusive courtship. Is college still the time when people look for marriage? Or is this the worst possible time to make long term relationships? What changes from freshman to super-senior year? Are college romances partly guilty for the high divorce rate? Is there still such a thing as “making an honest woman out of her?” How do language and social practices influence or encourage monogamy in college?
Modes of Persuasion
Myspace, Facebook, Craigslist: How has technology, like online communities, changed sex and love for college students? Has such instantly abundant information revealed the ultra superficial requirements of hooking up? A profile list many important details about a possible mate: a picture, likes and dislikes, educations, employment, friends. Is this all the information needed or are there non-rational and unconscious factors shaping cognition? Is there a deeper essence that cannot be captured through technology? What about deception and the art of flattering pictures?
Bars, Bars, Bars: Drink until she is pretty? Shockingly, in many states it is unlawful to engage in sexual intercourse will an inebriated person. What would college sex be like without kegs parties and Jello shots? What are the ethical and epistemological issues involved with college drinking? What does consent mean after drinking and what are the possible ramifications regarding rape? Is there a gender bias? Are there different standards for college kids than non-college kids and other age groups?
Deontology of Friendship
What are your duties to a friend in college? Do you treat everyone like your roommate? Do you let them go home with “that” person at the bar? Especially concerning friends with benefits, are you allowed to hook up with your friend’s friend? This seems very different that dating a friends ex-girl friend, but is it? Do you tell your friends if there mate is cheating? Would you tell the friends mate if your friend was cheating? How would you like to be treated?
The abortion debate is a crucial topic for both men and women in college. What effect does being in college have on student’s position concerning the pro-life and pro-choice debate? Does a liberal education skew the minds of the youth? Does knowing what a sound argument is influence anything? What are the arguments that resonate with college students and why?
Alternative Lifestyles and Experimentation
That One Time in College: One of the standard punch-lines in popular culture is to refer to experimentation in college. What are the implicit judgments in this kind of humor? Why does college have a socially acceptable space for experimentation? Which philosophers can shed light on the issues of identity or personhood in these kinds of circumstances?
Sex on X: Since the last half of the twentieth century, college has been a place where people explore mind-altering substances. Sex ensues. What are the perspectives of drug use, namely ecstasy, regarding sexual experience? Will the experience of sex on E ruin sober sex? Is there a philosophical imperative to explore new frontiers and paradigms? Are experiences on drugs less real?
Grad students do it better: What practices are different from undergraduate to graduate school? Does education make people more or less attractive and to whom? How does sexuality in graduate school affect the teachers of the future?
Hot for teacher: It is a common phenomenon that students often have crushes on their teachers and teacher’s assistants. Explore the nature of the attraction and what ethical guidelines should be followed. Is the student infatuated with the teacher or falling for the form of beauty itself? Consider Plato and his student Aristotle.
We encourage you to be as creative as possible with your topic and strive to make your abstract and essay as lively, yet enlightening, as possible. Please attend to the following guidelines:
• Abstract of paper (approximately 250 words) due by December 15, 2008
• Accepted authors will receive notification by January 15, 2008
• The submission deadline for accepted papers will be July 1, 2009
• Final papers must be between 4000-5000 words and be aimed at a general, educated audience.
• Abstracts should be submitted to Mike Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Proposals for other volumes in the series should be submitted to Fritz Allhoff at email@example.com.
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