American Philosophical Association Central Division Annual Meeting, Illinois, United States Of America, 21 - 24 February 2018
New Philosophies of Love and Sex (2017) offers some fresh perspective on the philosophy of desire broadly construed. It complies exciting new scholarship on issues varying from polyamory to the intimate life of intersex individuals, from Ancient Greek practices of love to the history of medicalization of female sexuality. In so doing, the volume traces a non-linear narrative: it is both classical and contemporary, and I would argue, at once timeless and timely. As a critic on this invited book panel, my discussion will center around this very tension between timeliness and timelessness with regards to the philosophy of desire. Are we to assume a historicist position on desire? What historical lineages are included and what historical lineages are excluded in this narrative? How does one look at the history of desire from being particularly situated in the present? I will argue that the volume negotiates this tension skillfully and while the selection of essays are contemporarily relevant, they also resonate well beyond their intended particularity.