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Title: Against morality : a critical realist examination of a history of Western sexual normativity : an appeal for emancipation and explanation through emergentist social science
Author: Brock, Thomas George James
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 9680
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2012
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A model of reality derived from critical realism and historical sociology provides a sufficient account of Christian sexual morality and shows that powerful human agents are responsible for the normative regulation of non-procreative forms of sexual activity in the West. If we are to understand the sui generis powers of human agents, sociology must engage with a model of reality which adequately conceptualises an entwining synchronic and diachronic realm. It is only here, in a connexion of the theoretical and empirical, that an essential grasp of social phenomena at depth can be reached and a true appreciation of hegemony and resistance can be rendered explicit for the purposes of emancipatory social science. ‘Emancipation through explanation; explanation through emergence’ (Bhaskar, 2009, p.103); this model of reality shows that Christian sexual codes are based on an untenable moral positioning which confuses biological sequence with a social construction. Human dignity is not derived from procreative sex; social scientific inquiry shows that these moral truths are based on unsound normative avowals. Through a history of ‘norm circles’ (Elder-Vass, 2010, p.115), it is reasoned that the historical preservation of (hetero)sexuality is tantamount to the protection of Christian ecclesiastical norms. Morality should not be rendered on a biological sequence of occurrences and it is irresponsible to base human sexual codes on testimony that can be retroduced as a product of irrational human collectivities. There is nothing divine about the persecution on the basis of difference; it is the emergent consequence of a hegemonic history of ideas. This project traces that history and those groups whose normative proclamations break with prejudice and intolerance. Therefore, the power of political action must not be misjudged. If nothing else, it is where the sui generis powers of human agency are most lucid: a causal force which yields, in its own way, the argument that all forms of sexuality are moral.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available