Porno(u)topia of Marquis de Sade: “Philosophy in the Bedroom” vs “Symposium”




Marquis de Sade, Plato, «Symposium», «Philosophy in the Bedroom», lechery, Paideia, practice, theory, pornographic discourse, pornotopia, pleasure, republicanism


The article studies philosophical, political, educational program of Marquis de Sade as an attempt to do away with the tradition of Platonic-Christian philosophizing, deconstruct its meaning and form. “Philosophy in the Bedroom” is interpreted as a parody of “Symposium” of Plato, which presents its own Sadian materialist conception as the opposite of Plato's metaphysics. In this context, we prove some essential theses in relation to the historical and philosophical significance of the Sadian heritage: 1. Sade creates an original controversy of Plato's dialogue, introducing new Conceptual Personae according to gender and class distinction and complementing theory and practice. 2. The practice enables the transition from erotological discourse to pornographic discourse and transform Platonic idealist seduction as part of Paideia into the pedagogics of the materialistic lechery. 3. The pornographic discourse allows Sade to create a new conceptual apparatus by which an apology for sensual pleasure is opposed to the ideology of Platonic love. 4. His own utopia/pornotopia of the individual pleasure deconstructing the utopias of the public good of Plato's “Republic” and republicanism of the Enlightenment. 5. Thus Sade tried to make the foundations for a new stage of philosophizing, which would occur after the revolution.

Author Biography

Oleh Perepelytsia, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

Doctor of Philosophical Sciences, professor of the Department of Theoretical and Practical Philosophy


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How to Cite

Perepelytsia, O. (2016). Porno(u)topia of Marquis de Sade: “Philosophy in the Bedroom” vs “Symposium”. Sententiae, 34(1), 95–110.






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