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A Problem in Modern Ethics

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By: (1840-1893)

“Society lies under the spell of ancient terrorism and coagulated errors. Science is either wilfully hypocritical or radically misinformed.”

John Addington Symonds struck many an heroic note in this courageous (albeit anonymously circulated) essay. He is a worthy Virgil guiding the reader through the Inferno of suffering which emerging medico-legal definitions of the sexually deviant were prepared to inflict on his century and on the one which followed. Symonds pleads for sane human values in a world of Urnings, Dionings, Urano-Dionings and Uraniasters – in short, the whole paraphernalia of Victorian taxonomies and undigested Darwinism which, superimposed on the “terrorism” of religion, labelled and to some extent created the specimen “homosexual.”

A discussion of the “manly love” poems of Walt Whitman leads the author to speculate on a better future for the criminalised mutual passions of men; yet he is obliged to defer the dream, for “the world cannot be invited to entertain it.” (Introduction by Martin Geeson)

First Page:

A PROBLEM IN MODERN ETHICS

Of this work only 100 copies have been printed.

No.

A

PROBLEM IN MODERN ETHICS

BEING

AN INQUIRY INTO THE PHENOMENON OF SEXUAL INVERSION

ADDRESSED ESPECIALLY TO MEDICAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AND JURISTS

BY

JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS

LONDON

1896

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE

LIST OF BOOKS CONSULTED vii

INTRODUCTION 1

I. CHRISTIAN OPINION FROM THE AGE OF JUSTINIAN 5

II. VULGAR ERRORS 9

III. LITERATURE: PORNOGRAPHIC AND DESCRIPTIVE: Carlier, Les deux Prostitutions 16

IV. LITERATURE: MEDICO FORENSIC: Tardieu 21

V. LITERATURE: MEDICO PSYCHOLOGICAL: Moreau, Tarnowsky, Krafft Ebing, Lombroso 29

VI. LITERATURE: HISTORICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL: Meier, "A Problem in Greek Ethics"; Rosenbaum, Bastian, Herbert Spencer, Sir Richard Burton, Mantegazza 75

VII... Continue reading book >>


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