March 4, 2009

Quote of the Day: Kant Against the Objectification of Women

Kant has something of a reputation as a misogynist. This reputation is not entirely undeserved. However, in his 1775-1780 Lectures on Ethics, Kant gives voice to a line of reasoning which, at least in its general outline, will be familiar to most readers from certain strains of 20th century feminism:

There is no way in which a human being can be made an Object of indulgence for another except through sexual impulse ... it is an appetite for another human being ... Because sexuality is not an inclination which one human being has for another as such, but is an inclination for the sex of another, it is a principle of the degradation of human nature, in that it gives rise to the preference of one sex to the other, and to the dishonouring of that sex through the satisfaction of desire. The desire which a man has for a woman is not directed towards her because she is a human being, but because she is a woman; that she is a human being is of no concern to the man; only her sex is the object of his desires. Human nature is thus subordinated ... To allow one's person for profit to be used by another for the satisfaction of sexual desire, to make oneself an Object of demand, is to dispose over oneself as over a thing and to make of oneself a thing on which another satisfies his appetite, just as he satisfies his hunger upon a steak. (Lectures on Ethics, tr. Louis Infeld, p. 163-165)

Posted by Kenny at March 4, 2009 12:59 PM
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Please find a reference which points out how Western "culture" is produced on the objectification of quite literally everything.

http://www.adidabiennale.org/curation/index.htm

And thus the attempt to control, and eventually destroy everything thus objectified. Inevitably creating the situation described in this reference.

http://www.ispeace723.org/gcfprinciples2.html

Plus this related reference on the origins of the objectication of what the author calls the Pattern That IS Woman or Shakti (and by extension the entire world Woman or Shakti IS the World)

http://www.adidamla.org/newsletters/toc-aprilmay2006.html

Posted by: John at March 16, 2009 11:52 PM

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