EP4: Is it Morally Wrong to Prefer Attractive Partners? (On ‘Lookism’ and William D’Alessandro)

If your partner is attractive, then you might be part of the problem. At least, that’s what one edgelord philosopher is suggesting. We discuss William D’Alessandro’s forthcoming paper, “Is It Bad to Prefer Attractive Partners?” (in the Journal of the American Philosophical Association here).

Is this “lookism” a kind of unjustified and harmful discrimination? If it is, is it realistic to expect us to modify our personal preferences for justice-oriented reasons? For philosopher William D’Alessandro, the answer to both questions is yes. On this episode, we debate these and many more questions, including: whether or not “attractiveness” can even be measured, and made sense of in this way; whether the argument leads us towards absurd conclusions about other personal characteristics (should we not date intelligent people?); and whether this argument, even if well-meaning, has potentially reactionary consequences.

We also mentioned the work of Amia Srinivasan. You can find a short article about her related ideas on “the right to sex” here.

← Older
Newer →