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PHIL 3320 Philosophy of Sex and Love, OnLine Syllabus

Professor John Bender

Ellis 202A, 593-4599

Office Hours: 1-2 MW


Various philosophical issues surrounding the nature of sex, love, sexual behavior and attitudes, and the ethics of sexually-centered activities will be studied.


There will be weekly RATs, or readiness assurance tests that will be short multiple choice quizzes that you will complete each Thursday on Blackboard. There also will be two short answer and mini-essay midterms and a final exam. In addition, there will be written assignments on the week's readings, also to be submitted each Thursday via SafeAssign in Blackboard. Your assignment will then be posted on Friday morning each week onto the discussion board in Blackboard. Finally, on Friday of each week you will also submit a one paragraph evaluation of your partner's weekly assignment by creating a thread under that person?s assignment in the discussion board and you will recommend a grade out of 25 points.

Your final grade will be determined in approximately the following way: RATs: 28%; Midterms and final: 28%; Written Assignments: 35%; Assessments of Other's Written Assignments: 8%.

I will use a 933 pt. base so that each contribution can be weighed. The grading-point breakdown is as follows:

Midterms and final: 3 tests = 183 points

RATs: 15 RATs = 297 points

Written Assignments: 25 points x 15 assignments = 375 points

Assessments of Other's Work: 5 points X 15 assignments = 75 points

Total Points = 930

Final grades will be determined on a class curve, based on total points accumulated.

Required Text and Readings

There are a couple of readings posted on the site, but all other readings are from one text: Philosophy of Sex and Love: a Reader, eds. Borchert, Trevas, Zucker, 1996 Prentice Hall. All assigned readings are required, and need to be done and should be read between Monday and Wednesday of each week. If you would like more reading, you can contact me.

Schedule of Topics, Exams, and Readings

Week 1

  • Topics: Moral Positions re Sex; Plato's Symposium
  • Readings: BTZ, 1-14

Week 2

  • Topics: The Myth of Platonic Love
  • Readings: Solomon (on-line) "Myth of Platonic Love"

Week 3

  • Topics: Aristotle; Aquinas
  • Readings: BTZ, 14-22; 37-46;

Week 4

  • Topics: Modern Views of Sex and Love: Freud
  • Readings: BTZ, 430-42; 46-57

Week 5

  • Topics: Fromm and Solomon
  • Readings: Solomon (on-line) "Love: A Theory"

Week 6

  • Topics: Sex With and Without Love
  • Readings: BTZ, 65-72; 72-86; 86-92

Week 7

  • Topics: Feminist Critiques
  • Readings: BTZ 94-103;104-108; 118-119; 119-123
  • Friday: Midterm

Spring Break ? March 3-9

Week 8

  • Topics: Language of Sex
  • Readings: Baker (on-line), "Pricks and Chicks"

Week 9

  • Topics: Marriage
  • Readings: BTZ, 125-130; 130-138; 159-165

Week 10

  • Topics: Homosexuality/Gay Marriage
  • Readings: BTZ, 138-139; 260-268; 282-285

Week 11

  • Topics: Adultery
  • Readings: BTZ, 168-175; 181-184
  • Friday: Midterm

Week 12

  • Topics: Prostitution
  • Readings: BTZ, 191-196; 207-210; 217-226

Week 13

  • Topics: Perversion; Pornography
  • Readings: BTZ, 229-240; BTZ, 285-298; 312-321

Week 14

  • Topics: Rape and Date Rape
  • Readings: BTZ, 343-351; 351-362; 364-367

Week 15

  • Topics: Sexual Harassment
  • Readings: BTZ, 327-343; 384-394
  • Friday: Final Exam

Copyright John W. Bender. All rights reserved