Eros and Ethos (Book)

Eros and Ethos is an attempt to create the world’s first eudaimonistic sexual ethic. What does that mean? Eudaimonism is the ethical theory that says the goal of ethics is to help an individual live a good life or flourish. A eudaimonistic sexual ethic says that we should judge sexual things based on whether they help a person to live well or not. At the same time, we also need to recognize that sex is part of human nature and will, therefore, be part of a good life. Eros and Ethos takes both these positions. Or, as we say it in the blurb:

Sexual ethics has historically been a bleak landscape of three false alternatives – resist, abstain, or indiscriminately indulge. In Eros and Ethos, philosopher Jason Stotts presents a radical new alternative in which sex is an ethically important part of a rich human life. He shows how sex is a significant expression of our character, because sex arises out of the deepest and most fundamental parts of who we are. On his account, virtue lies in proudly bringing desire in line with our flourishing so that we can create rich and meaningful lives.

You see, most theories of sex have historically told us that sex is a mere bodily phenomenon and that we should either indulgently embrace this or turn away from sex and resist it or abstain from it. We are going to do something different. We are going to show that sex is tied to the most fundamental aspects of who we are as people, including our emotions and sentiments, love and relationships, and the very structure of our cultures and their societal sex roles. Sex permeates human life and society and if we want to live well, we need to understand it and incorporate it into our lives in healthy ways.

There is a real sense in which our goal is to make ethics relevant to human life again, a rich life that includes us as we really are, sex and all.


Want to see inside Eros and Ethos before you buy it? Here’s the full Introduction. (LINK)


If you want to buy a copy Eros and Ethos, check out the links below.

Amazon ebook

Amazon paperback

Special editions: Signed Copies and Special Editions

You can also find Eros and Ethos on Goodreads.


Here is an interview with Jason about the book: