Social Philosophy Today

Volume 25, 2009

Gender, Diversity, and Difference

Yolanda Estes
Pages 63-73

J. G. Fichte’s Account of Human Sexuality
Gender Difference as the Basis of Human Equality within a Just Society

In this essay, I offer an interpretation of J. G. Fichte’s account of human sexuality and its relation to sexual inequality and social justice and apply this interpretation to contemporary questions about gender, equality and justice. According to my interpretation of Fichte, sexual intercourse provides a primary natural relationship—initiated by woman—wherein human beings cultivate their capacities for communication or reciprocal influence by expressing desires guided by both feeling and reason. Thus, the interchange of sexual love and solicitude is the original basis for all other social skills and ultimately for any form of social justice.