January 29, 2005

I think about weird things

Michel Foucault, a late 20th century French philosopher, argued for a notion of an ars erotica, sexuality as a form of self-expression akin to art. By this I believe he meant to give sexuality a place outside the usual normative moral structures: sexual acts, like artistic acts, are not to be interrogated according to whether they are 'right' or 'wrong'.

But, prima facie, this leads to the possibility that sexual acts like rape cannot be condemned. So, if we are inclined to follow Foucault in liberating sexuality in this way, what must we do to establish this anormative space? Perhaps morality (in some sense; Foucault himself often seems critical of all normativity) can establish the boundary of such a space, but not determine the internal structure? Then, as a less theoretical matter, how is this boundary to be established?

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