In Praise Of One-Night Stand


K. T. Fann, now retired, was formerly Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Atkinson College, York University, Canada. He is the author of Wittgenstein’s Conception of Philosophy (1969), Pierce’s Theory of Abduction (1970), Reading ” Dao De Jing” in English (2020), In Praise of One-night Stand (2021); editor of Wittgenstein: The Man and His Philosophy (1967) and Symposium on J. L. Austin (1969); and translator of Laozi’s Dao De Jing (2020).

In 1995 he retired to his ancestral village in Taiwan and turned a one-hectare abandoned farm into a self-sufficient Daoist retreat, where he lives a life of simplicity in harmony with nature and manages a Daoist retreat called Thumb-up B

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Abort forty years ago, while I was going through a painful divorce, I decided to teach a course called “Philosophy of Sex” at my university. My favorite philosopher Wittgenstein once said to his student: “What is the use of studying philosophy if all that does for you is to enable you to talk with some plausibility about some abstruse questions of logic, etc., and if it does not improve your thinking about the important questions of everyday life?” Other than the food, is there anything more important to everyday life than sex? Yet philosophers rarely discuss sex as a philosophical topic. I tried to apply my philosophical skills to help myself think clearly about the male-female relationships while living them. Over the years I have formed my own philosophy of sex, but this is not a regular philosophy book. I let my thoughts range freely, and do not try to organize them into a set form. So there won’t be a table of contents or chapter divisions in this book.

What follows are my sexual reminiscences interjected with my philosophizing about them. The events described are real 14 and the persons involved are real, but with names changed. Some parts of it may sound to some people like pornography, but it is actually a philosophy book. A great contemporary philosopher Noam Chomsky said, “The job of a philosopher is to tell the truth and to expose lies.” That’s what I am trying to do. Another great philosopher Karl Marx said, “Philosophers hitherto have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point, however, is to change it.” I am also trying to do that. This is not just a memoir, but I meant it to be a subversive track. I wish to subvert the status quo of our sexual mores. In fact, I meant this to be a Manifesto of Sexual Liberation!


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