русский пересказ https://theoryandpractice.ru/posts/8194-the-ways-of-lust
The Ways of Lust
By Paul Bloom
HOW does lust affect the way we think about people?
In 1780, Immanuel Kant wrote that “sexual love makes of the loved person an Object of appetite.” And after that appetite is sated? The loved one, Kant explained, “is cast aside as one casts away a lemon which has been sucked dry.”
Many contemporary feminists agree that sexual desire, particularly when elicited by pornographic images, can lead to “objectification.” The objectifier (typically a man) thinks of the target of his desire (typically a woman) as a mere thing, lacking autonomy, individuality and subjective experience.
This idea has some laboratory support. Studies have found that viewing people’s bodies, as opposed to their faces, makes us judge those people as less intelligent, less ambitious, less competent and less likable. One neuroimaging experiment found that, for men, viewing pictures of sexualized women induced lowered activity in brain regions associated with thinking about other people’s minds.
The objectification thesis also sits well with another idea that many psychologists, including myself, have defended, which is that we are all common-sense dualists. Even if you are a staunch science-minded atheist, in everyday life you still think of people as immaterial conscious beings — we inhabit fleshy bodies, but we are not ourselves physical. To see someone as a body is in opposition to thinking of her as a mind, then, and hence a heightened focus on someone’s body tends to strip away her personhood.
But this analysis is too simple. It’s not literally true that women in pornography are thought of as inanimate and unfeeling objects; if they were, then they would just as effectively be depicted as unconscious or unresponsive, as opposed to (as is more often the case) aroused and compliant. Also, as the philosophers Martha Nussbaum and Leslie Green have pointed out, being treated as an object isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Imagine that you are sitting outside on a sunny day, and you move behind someone so that she blocks the sun from your eyes. You have used her as an object, but it’s hard to see that you’ve done something wrong.
The real worry that people have with pornography — and with lust more generally — is that the targets of the arousal are seen as losing certain uniquely human traits. They are thought of as lower-status beings, stripped of dignity, more like animals than people. This attitude is well expressed by the misogynist hero of the Kingsley Amis novel “One Fat Englishman” who says that his sexual aim is “to convert a creature who is cool, dry, calm, articulate, independent, purposeful into a creature who is the opposite of these: to demonstrate to an animal which is pretending not to be an animal that it is an animal.”
ALONG with a team of psychologists and philosophers (with the psychologist Kurt Gray as the lead author), I published a study in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that looked at the effect of viewing naked bodies. We went hard-core, drawing our images from a book by the photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders called “XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits.” This collection was perfect for our purposes, as it had two side-by-side photographs of each attractive individual, with the same lighting, posture and expression — but in one photograph the person was fully dressed, in the other naked.
We showed the pictures to our subjects and asked questions about these individuals — about the extent to which they were seen as purposeful agents, with the capacity for self-control, moral action and planning, and about the extent to which they were seen as experiencing beings, capable of feeling pain, pleasure, fear, rage, joy and desire. Consistent with the objectification view, naked people were thought of as having less agency. But contrary to this view, they were also thought of as being enhanced experiencers, capable of stronger feelings and greater emotional responses.
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Relatedly, in another study of ours, in which participants gave people electric shocks, we found that the participants gave milder shocks to people who were partially undressed versus fully dressed, presumably because the flash of skin makes us more sensitive to others as experiencing beings.
Marilyn Monroe once described sex as “the opposite of love.” This seems too harsh. Part of the effect of nudity that our study found is morally positive — it’s usually a good thing to be more attuned to someone else’s ability to experience — and it’s not clear whether the negative effects have any long-term influence on how we treat one another. In addition, the studies that psychologists have done so far involve the perception of strangers. I hope it’s not overly romantic to assume that sexual desire might work quite differently in the context of a continuing relationship.
These findings underscore the corporeal nature of many of our moral feelings. The experience of other people’s bodies can elicit empathy and compassion; it can also trigger disgust, fear and hatred. Our moral thoughts and actions are influenced, often unconsciously, by others’ smell, their race, their sex, their age, how much skin they are showing and much else.
If we want to be good people, to do right by others, it’s important to know about these influences. Sometimes we will embrace them, but often we are going to want to combat them.
Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale, is the author of “Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil.”
A version of this article appears in print on Dec. 1, 2013, Section SR, Page 12 of the New York edition with the headline: The Ways Of Lust. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
я подумаю, как это можно приложить к искусству, но как-то мне кажется недокрученно.