The Tyranny of Pleasure
This book hits the question of sexual morals head-on, asking what is the place of the forbidden in modern society. Sexuality is a matter of history, psychoanalysis, anthropology, theology, political philosophy, demography, economics and criminology. But there is little communication among these professions. The author revisits each field of knowledge to produce a richly nuanced analysis. The book's title is borrowed from Plato. In The Laws, Plato speaks in praise of pleasure, but he regards as weak and condemnable the man who lets "the tyrant Eros" rule his heart. Tyranny sheds a salutary light on a question that today is largely "taboo," for reasons that are vigorously contrary to the Puritanism of yesteryear. Since the 1960s, there has been a widespread sense that a "liberation" had definitely been achieved in the world of morality. The revolution of the "Sixties" supposedly freed us of a yoke that had crushed all the generations before. However, a broad consideration of history shows the naïveté of such a view. Jean-Claude Guillebaud is a prominent French Catholic intellectual from the Left.-Awarded the French "Renaudot Prize for Essays" (1998).-Originally published by Seuil, in Paris, 1998.-Translated from French by Algora Publishing.
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