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From Sexuality to Eroticism: The Making of the Human Mind


Affiliations
1 Department of Philosophy, Chemnitz University of Technology, Chemnitz, Germany
2 Department of Philosophy, Munster University, Munster, Germany
 

This paper proposes that the human mind in its creativity and emotional self-awareness is the result of the evolutionary transition from sexuality to eroticism. Eroticism is arrived at and defined by the high amount of energy displayed in animal sexuality. We propose that the unique human emotional intelligence is due to this "overflow" of mating energy. What from the survival viewpoint looks like an enormous waste of time and energy reveals itself to be an unexpected psychological benefit. The diversion of sexual energy from procreation-a process that results in erotic fantasies-turns intimacy into a source of human self-consciousness. This places different emphasis on the meaning of eroticism and provides a coherent scenario of mental development beyond mere cognitive capacities. Arguments are presented on how erotic imagination, or sexual excitation as an end in itself, promotes the human propensity for explorative curiosity; data from ethology, psychology, sociology, and neuroscience are presented to support these arguments. As philosophical anthropologists, we do not provide new empirical data, but the available results of comparative behavioral research confirm our hypothesis.

Keywords

Mating Mind, Sexual Arousal, Waste Principle, Emotional Selection, Self-Consciousness.
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  • From Sexuality to Eroticism: The Making of the Human Mind

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Authors

Ferdinand Fellmann
Department of Philosophy, Chemnitz University of Technology, Chemnitz, Germany
Rebecca Walsh
Department of Philosophy, Munster University, Munster, Germany

Abstract


This paper proposes that the human mind in its creativity and emotional self-awareness is the result of the evolutionary transition from sexuality to eroticism. Eroticism is arrived at and defined by the high amount of energy displayed in animal sexuality. We propose that the unique human emotional intelligence is due to this "overflow" of mating energy. What from the survival viewpoint looks like an enormous waste of time and energy reveals itself to be an unexpected psychological benefit. The diversion of sexual energy from procreation-a process that results in erotic fantasies-turns intimacy into a source of human self-consciousness. This places different emphasis on the meaning of eroticism and provides a coherent scenario of mental development beyond mere cognitive capacities. Arguments are presented on how erotic imagination, or sexual excitation as an end in itself, promotes the human propensity for explorative curiosity; data from ethology, psychology, sociology, and neuroscience are presented to support these arguments. As philosophical anthropologists, we do not provide new empirical data, but the available results of comparative behavioral research confirm our hypothesis.

Keywords


Mating Mind, Sexual Arousal, Waste Principle, Emotional Selection, Self-Consciousness.