Interview

by Jason Stotts

I was recently interviewed by Marilyn Moore for The Atlas Society blog [Link] about my new book Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics. It’s a pretty lengthy interview where we delve into a number of interesting topics. Go check it out!

MM: Culturally we are in a period in which there is a lack of trust, particularly between men and women, in regards to sex. Some people might read the title of your book, Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics, and say that sexual ethics is an oxymoron. We seem to understand why the trust is gone, but we don’t seem to know how to repair it. Does your book offer insight?

JS: That’s an interesting question. Yes and no. My book doesn’t directly address the question of trust between the sexes around sexuality (at least this volume doesn’t). It does, however, address the much deeper question of whether sex and sexuality are compatible with a good human life. Indeed, it argues that, for most of us, sex and sexuality will be necessary for happiness. Of course, by “happiness” I don’t mean a simple feeling such as pleasure or even a more robust sentiment such as joy. Rather, I mean a rich and flourishing human life. I ground sexual ethics in the eudaimonistic approach that grows out of the tradition of Aristotle and includes Ayn Rand.

My book is an analysis of the deeper nature of sexuality and an exploration of how it fits into a good life. To start that, Chapter 1 opens with a discussion of the nature of happiness, since if we don’t understand what a good human life looks like, we’ll be unable to understand how sex might fit into it. In Chapter 2, we turn our attention to emotions and sentiments to lay the foundation to understand the deeper nature of sexuality, including how things like love and sexual attraction work. In Chapter 3, we turn our attention to love directly and explore its nature and such questions as whether everyone is capable of love. In Chapter 4, we look at the nature of relationships in particular and what a good relationship looks like. In Chapter 5, we explore sexual attraction and fantasy and see how each of these work and their importance to sex and sexuality. In Chapter 6, we explore the idea of sexual identity and whether our historic conceptions of this are helpful or harmful and how to better think about these issues. Finally, in Chapter 7, we bring all of this together and see how sex fits into a good life. We also explore the unique nature of sexual pleasure, the nature of sexual arousal, and possible ends of sex. Through all this, we set up a radically different kind of sexual ethics than has existed before: one that recognizes the importance of sex for most people and helps them to integrate it into their lives to help them to live better.

So, to get back to your original question…(read more)

 

First Anniversary of “Eros and Ethos”

by Jason Stotts

It has been exactly one year since Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics came out. So, I wanted to take a moment to look back on the year and how things have gone:

  • Sales have been pretty solid and they sit a little above 200 books now.
  • The reviews have been very good and E&E sits at a 4.5/5 stars on Amazon.
  • I’ve been interviewed twice now (here and here) and both interviews went well, from my perspective. (I’m still looking for interviews, so if you know someone who’s looking for guests, connect us.)
  • There’s at least one reading group that I know of that’s taking on my book.
  • I’ve given two public talks related to my books in Michigan and Colorado.
  • I gave a talk to a university “sex and love” class.
  • I’m hoping the audio book will be out in the next couple of months. There were some snags with its production, but they seem to be resolved now.

If you’ve already read it, take a moment and let your friends know. Word of mouth recommendations carry the most weight. If you haven’t read it yet, definitely check it out. I’m not saying it’s definitely life-changing (although it might change your life!), but it should at least provide you with some interesting things to think about. (You can read the introduction for free here).

Request for Quotes

by Jason Stotts

 

I’d like to advertise “Eros and Ethos” based on its content and the value it has to offer people. I was thinking that one good way to do that would be to use real quotes from it and make those fancy images that people could share on social media. Such as:

The problem is that I don’t know what quotes to use. If you’ve read the book, what are some quotes or passages that stuck out to you?

Eros and Ethos – Sale!

by Jason Stotts

From now and through Labor Day, Eros and Ethos will be on sale for $4.99 for the ebook and $9.99 for the paperback. If you’ve been waiting for a big sale, now’s your chance!

Review: “Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker

by Jason Stotts

In case you haven’t heard of it yet, Harvard Psychologist Steven Pinker has a new book out defending the enlightenment and the progress that humanity has made since then called “Enlightenment Now”. The blurb for it is:

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature–tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking–which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

The book does a great job showing how much progress we have made and that the world is getting better everyday. This is an important message at a time when all we hear is how things are coming apart at the seams.

While I do have some reservations about the book (which Robert Tracinski does a better job of discussing that I likely would have), I do think it’s a worthwhile read and worth picking up.

Eros and Ethos – 6 Month Retrospective

by Jason Stotts

It’s now been just over 6 months since Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics came out! I am happy to report that so far the book is selling well and the reviews have been good. To date, we are just shy of our 200th copy! Currently, most people are buying ebooks (75%), with the rest of the sales being paperbacks.

Moreover, the reviews have been really wonderful with a score of 4.5 out of 5 and 13 reviews (the overall score was brought down by 1 negative and unsubstantial review). Here are just a couple of the really nice things people are saying:

  • “Get ready for the first part of a very thoughtful and enlightening ride. I can’t wait for the next installment to arrive!”
  • “I was raised in a sex shaming household, and it is very difficult to live with conflicting thoughts about my own sexuality, desires, and societal pressures. This book is imperative for anyone struggling to reconcile their sexuality with morality.”
  • “This is an important book for anyone seeking a rational approach to sex”
  • “This was a fantastic book, an excellent purchase, and well worth my time.”
  • “This is a vastly important (and possibly life-changing) book for anyone floundering and/or seeking growth and happiness within a romantic/erotic relationship.”
  • “I’ve never read anything related to the topic of sex that addresses the subject so thoroughly, so positively, or so helpfully.”
  • “Bottom line, an excellent addition to my library. Suitable for academics and laymen alike.”

Go take a look at the full comments yourself, they’re amazingly kind and speak highly of the book.

The audiobook has been delayed due to production issues, but I hope to find a new narrator soon (if you’re interested, let me know). No current ETA on the audiobook, but I’ll be sure to announce it when there’s something more definite.

Overall, I’ve very happy with the launch and I hope that the sales keep climbing as new people read the book and recommend it to their friends. If you’ve already read the book, please take a second to leave a review, it makes a big difference and I love seeing them.

Upcoming Speech: “Love’s Myths (and Their Dangers)”

by Jason Stotts

I will be giving a talk in Denver Colorado coming up on Saturday July 28th. The details of which are below:

Our culture is rife with myths about love. While many of these myths, such as the idea of “soul mates” seem innocuous enough, they can cause significant harm in the lives of people who believe them. In this talk, we will explore some of these myths and the harm they cause. Afterwards, we will look at what healthy love looks like so that we will be more likely to find it in our own lives.

The talk will be at Rodolfo Gonzalez Library (1498 Irving St, Denver, CO 80204) from 3:30pm-4:30pm. It will be roughly 30-45 minutes in length and will be followed by a Q&A.

After the talk, around 5:15pm, there will be a dinner with lively conversation. The dinner is at Tap and Burger Sloans Lake (565 N. Raleigh St. #100, Denver, CO 80204), which is about a 6 minute drive from the venue.

This talk grows out of my new book Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics. A limited number of copies of the book will also be available at the talk.

You can RSVP for the event on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/442609279541867/), but an RSVP is not required to attend. The event is free to attend.

Inferno: Cassandra’s Call

by Jason Stotts

A friend of mine just released a new fantasy book called “Inferno: Cassandra’s Call.” It’s the first in a new series that looks to be quite interesting. The blurb is:

Fall into a world where each new moon renews Earth’s hunger for human sacrifices. The Order of Pure and Cleansing Inferno administers the Ritual, delivering a chosen few to the flames to forestall the End of Days. Most grudgingly accept the necessity of the Ritual, and a few revere the Order for protecting life as they know it. Rare indeed is the individual who questions either, but Cassandra has never behaved according to expectations. She believes that she can put a stop to the bloody Ritual with the help of a renowned mercenary known only as Moose. Will Moose and Cassandra work together to uncover the secrets of the powerful Order, or will they betray each other in the end? Will the addition of Alex, a reckless brawler without a home, strengthen the party or strain it?

The Inferno series balances action worthy of any dungeon-crawling adventure with character-driven stories that wouldn’t be out of place in a Chris Claremont or Joss Whedon script. In the tradition of the very best science fiction and fantasy, it explores themes of personal identity, order and chaos, the structure of society, and the meaning of family. If you have enjoyed the work of writers like Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Goodkind, or Philip Pullman, this series is for you.

Check it out and, if you like it, leave her a review to help her get started. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next one.