James Giles (philosopher)

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James Giles
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolContinental philosophy
Existential phenomenology
Main interests
Philosophy of sex
Notable ideas
Care theory of love, naked love theory

James Giles (born 1958) is a Canadian philosopher and psychologist. He has written about personal identity and the self,[1] and has published theories of the reason for human hairlessness[2] and the cause of sexual desire.[3]

Schooling and career[edit]

Giles studied at the University of British Columbia and at the University of Edinburgh. He lectures in psychology at Roskilde University in Denmark.[4]

Theory of sexual desire[edit]

Giles published his theory of sexual desire in The Nature of Sexual Desire in 2008.[5] Sexologists usually account for sexual desire either in terms of social constructionism or as a biological characteristic essential to reproduction. Giles rejects both these views, and attempts to show by a phenomenological approach that sexual desire is an existential need rooted in the human condition, based on a feeling of incompleteness from the experience of one's own gender as a form of disequilibrium. The theory thus shows similarities to earlier theories such as those of Thomas Nagel on sexual perversion, or of Aristophanes on romantic love in Plato's Symposium.[3]

Vulnerability and care theory of love[edit]

The vulnerability and care theory of love was put forward by Giles in an article entitled "A Theory of Love and Sexual Desire" (1994) and later developed in his book The Nature of Sexual Desire (2004). Giles' theory has been discussed by scholars Dr. Ruth, in her textbook Human Sexuality: a Psychosocial Perspective (2002),[6] and Dr. Barbara Keesling, in her book Sexual Pleasure: Reaching New Heights of Sexual Arousal (2005).[7]

Naked love theory[edit]

Giles published his "naked love theory" of human hairlessness in 2010.[8] He postulated that hairlessness in humans evolved as a result of the pleasure of skin-to-skin contact between mother and child, and thus ultimately as a consequence of bipedalism. According to Giles, naked skin is a precondition for the appearance of romantic love.[2]


  • The Way of Awareness in Daoist Philosophy, St. Petersberg, Florida: Three Pines Press, 2020.
  • Sexual Essays: Gender, Desire, and Nakedness, Lanham: Hamilton Books, 2017.
  • Sexual Attraction: The Psychology of Allure, Santa Barbra: ABC-Clio, 2015.
  • The Shell of When, Windways Press/Lulu.com, 2011.
  • Kierkegaard and Japanese Thought (Ed.), Basingstoke, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
  • The Nature of Sexual Desire, Connecticut: Praeger, 2003
  • Kierkegaard and Freedom (Ed.), Basingstoke, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000.
  • French Existentialism: Consciousness, Ethics, and Relations with Others (Ed.), Amsterdam and Atlanta : Rodopi, 1999.
  • No Self to be Found: The Search for Personal Identity, Lanham: University Press of America, 1997.
  • A Study in Phenomenalism, Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University, 1994.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James B. Sauer (1997). No Self to be Found: The Search for Personal Identity by James Giles (review). The Personalist Forum 13 (2, Fall 1997): 321–325. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b [s.n.] (8 June 2011). Naked love - A gripping new theory Archived 30 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. La Trobe University Bulletin. Accessed March 2014.
  3. ^ a b Robert Scott Stewart (25 August 2009). Review - The Nature of Sexual Desire by James Giles; University Press of America, 2008. Metapsychology online reviews 13 (35). Accessed March 2014.
  4. ^ Dr. James Giles, lecturer. University of Cambridge: Institute of Continuing Education. Accessed March 2014.
  5. ^ The Nature of Sexual Desire, Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2008.
  6. ^ Ruth Westheimer and Sanford Lopater, Human Sexuality: a Psychosocial Perspective, New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2002.
  7. ^ Barbara Keesling Sexual Pleasure: Reaching New Heights of Sexual Arousal, 2nd edition, Alameda, CA: Hunter House, 2005.
  8. ^ James Giles (2010). "Naked love: The evolution of human hairlessness". Biological Theory 5: 326–336.

Further reading[edit]