Lust: The Seven Deadly Sins
Lust, says Simon Blackburn, is furtive, headlong, always sizing up opportunities. It is a trail of clothing in the hallway, the trashy cousin of love. But be that as it may, the aim of this delightful book is to rescue lust "from the denunciations of old men of the deserts, to deliver it from the pallid and envious confessor and the stocks and pillories of the Puritans, to drag it from the category of sin to that of virtue."
Blackburn, author of such popular philosophy books as Think and Being Good, here offers a sharp-edged probe into the heart of lust, blending together insight from some of the world's greatest thinkers on sex, human nature, and our common cultural foibles. Blackburn takes a wide ranging, historical approach, discussing lust as viewed by Aristophanes and Plato, lust in the light of the Stoic mistrust of emotion, and the Christian fear of the flesh that catapulted lust to the level of deadly sin. He describes how philosophical pessimists like Schopenhauer and Sartre contributed to our thinking about lust and explores the false starts in understanding lust represented by Freud, Kinsey, and modern "evolutionary psychology." But most important, Blackburn reminds us that lust is also life-affirming, invigorating, fun. He points to the work of David Hume (Blackburn's favorite philosopher) who saw lust not only as a sensual delight but also "a joy of the mind."
Written by one of the most eminent living philosophers, attractively illustrated and colorfully packaged, Lust is a book that anyone would lust over.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - m.gilbert - LibraryThing
I think I like Lust much more than Pride, although the former seems to be loaded with these glib philosophical turds and whatnot (which I like, by the way). Still, I like Blackburn, especially when he's not singin' too much David Hume and that appears to be the case here. Read full review
LUSTUser Review - Kirkus
Just in time for Valentine's Day: a presentation of lust's better angels. Of course, Blackburn (Philosophy/Cambridge Univ.; Being Good, 2001, etc.) admits in this third volume from the New York Public ... Read full review