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Stella Sandford Plato and Sex


What does the study of Plato’s dialogues tell us about the modern meaning of ‘sex’? How can recent developments in the philosophy of sex and gender help us read these ancient texts anew? Plato and Sex addresses these questions for the first time. Each chapter demonstrates how the modern reception of Plato’s works Ð in both mainstream and feminist philosophy and psychoanalytical theory Ð has presupposed a ‘natural-biological’ conception of what sex might mean. Through a critical comparison between our current understanding of sex and Plato’s notion of genos, Plato and Sex puts this presupposition into question. With its groundbreaking interpretations of the Republic, the Symposium and the Timaeus, this book opens up a new approach to sex as a philosophical concept. Including critical readings of the theories of sex and sexuation in Freud and Lacan, and relating such theories to Plato’s writings, Plato and Sex both questions our assumptions about sex and explains how those assumptions have coloured our understanding of Plato. What results is not only an original reading of some of the most prominent aspects of Plato’s philosophy, but a new attempt to think through the meaning of sex today.

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Papson Stephen Landscapes of Capital


Every era has its dominant representations. Just as landscape painters of previous centuries captured and expressed new modes of perceiving history, corporate advertisers now devise the imagined landscapes of global capitalism. Advertising functions as an omnipresent discursive form, publicly assembling and circulating the predominant tropes of our era. This project is based on the premise that corporate advertising’s landscapes help shape our epoch’s imaginative conceptualizations of the spatial relations, the temporal flows, and the cultural geographies that correspond to the emergence of a high-tech global economy. In Landscapes of Capital Robert Goldman and Steven Papson examine how corporate television ads from the last fifteen years have organized predominant images, tropes and narrative representations of a world in transition. The volume takes particular interest in how relations of space, time, speed, capital, technology and globalization are narratively represented in advertising. Goldman and Papson skillfully demonstrate how Capital represents itself at a moment of critical historical transition Ð the passage into high-tech globalization and the crises associated with it. They argue that corporate ads can be read to reveal how Capital represents itself and the world that is being wrought Ð in terms of the signifiers it prefers and the stories it tells.

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Stella Sandford Plato and Sex


What does the study of Plato’s dialogues tell us about the modern meaning of ‘sex’? How can recent developments in the philosophy of sex and gender help us read these ancient texts anew? Plato and Sex addresses these questions for the first time. Each chapter demonstrates how the modern reception of Plato’s works Ð in both mainstream and feminist philosophy and psychoanalytical theory Ð has presupposed a ‘natural-biological’ conception of what sex might mean. Through a critical comparison between our current understanding of sex and Plato’s notion of genos, Plato and Sex puts this presupposition into question. With its groundbreaking interpretations of the Republic, the Symposium and the Timaeus, this book opens up a new approach to sex as a philosophical concept. Including critical readings of the theories of sex and sexuation in Freud and Lacan, and relating such theories to Plato’s writings, Plato and Sex both questions our assumptions about sex and explains how those assumptions have coloured our understanding of Plato. What results is not only an original reading of some of the most prominent aspects of Plato’s philosophy, but a new attempt to think through the meaning of sex today.

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Niklas Luhmann Love. A Sketch


Love seems like the most personal experience, one that touches each of us in a unique way that is more personal than social, and hence it is not surprising that it has been largely neglected by sociologists and social theorists. While it has long been a central preoccupation of writers and novelists, love has rarely attracted anything more than the most cursory attention of social scientists. This short text, originally written in 1969 by the eminent German social theorist Niklas Luhmann, goes a long way to redressing this neglect. Rather than seeing love as a unique and ineffable personal experience, Luhmann treats love as a solution to a problem that depends on a wider range of social structures and forms. Human beings are faced with a world of enormous complexity and they have to find ways to order and make sense of this world. In other words, they need certain facilities for action Ð what Luhmann calls ‘media of communication’ Ð that enable them to select from a host of alternatives in ways that will be understood as meaningful by others. Love is one of these media; truth, power, money and art are others. With the development of modern societies, greater demands are made on this medium of love, altering the relationship between love and sexuality and giving rise to the distinctive difficulties we associate with love today. This short text by one of the most brilliant social theorists of the 20th century will be of great interest to students and scholars throughout the social sciences and humanities. It is a concise and pithy statement of what is still the only sociological theory of love we have.

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