The Philosophy of Viagra

The first book of philosophical essays in years with a shot at being advertised on the evening news asks what big questions are posed by society's acceptance and men's use of Viagra. 

What's the Latest Development?


A Dutch scholarly press will publish the industry's first philosophical essays on Viagra. The book, The Philosophy of Viagra: Bioethical Responses to the Viagrification of the Modern World is a serious work that stays away from the jokes often tossed into pop-cultural excursions. "The 15 essays offer smart, wide-ranging perspectives on how Viagra gives rise to classic philosophical concerns, and why it shouldn't be allowed to 'render masculinity as a mere problem of chemical engineering, plumbing and hydraulics.'" In addition to contemporary thinking, some essays ask how classical philosophers would have responded to the Blue Pill.

What's the Big Idea?

What are some of the classical philosophical questions raised by society's acceptance and men's use of Viagra? "Does Viagra facilitate desire (the view of Pfizer’s scientists), or create it? What is 'natural' in sexual life? If, before the discovery of Viagra, it was nature’s course to diminish sexual power in men once their peak reproductive fitness had passed, is it 'unnatural' to change that aspect of senior-citizen life through drugs? Or is drug-assisted virility simply better living through chemistry—like raising life expectancy from 45 to 75?"

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less