Posing Sex: Prospects for a Perceptual Ethics


Sexuality and sexual desire remain tantalizing conundrums for the universalizing intellect, desirous of comprehending the human condition even in its most unconditional manifestations. The representation of sexuality in the history of art is of course ubiquitous. But our equivocal familiarity with this subject matter, whether through attraction or repulsion, too often goes unacknowledged as an opportunity for reflecting upon the bounds of our subjectivity with unusually rigorous candor. This speculative failure is nowhere more conspicuous then in our attempts to make aesthetic judgments with respect to representations of sexuality while ignoring our intuitional complicity in the perceptual grounds adduced by such representations.

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