A Problem in Modern Ethics

Read by Martin Geeson

(4.6 stars; 15 reviews)

“Society lies under the spell of ancient terrorism and coagulated errors. Science is either wilfully hypocritical or radically misinformed.”

John Addington Symonds struck many an heroic note in this courageous (albeit anonymously circulated) essay. He is a worthy Virgil guiding the reader through the Inferno of suffering which emerging medico-legal definitions of the sexually deviant were prepared to inflict on his century and on the one which followed. Symonds pleads for sane human values in a world of Urnings, Dionings, Urano-Dionings and Uraniasters - in short, the whole paraphernalia of Victorian taxonomies and undigested Darwinism which, superimposed on the “terrorism” of religion, labelled and to some extent created the specimen “homosexual.”

A discussion of the “manly love” poems of Walt Whitman leads the author to speculate on a better future for the criminalised mutual passions of men; yet he is obliged to defer the dream, for “the world cannot be invited to entertain it.” (Introduction by Martin Geeson) (4 hr 50 min)


00 - Title Page, Table of Contents, Introduction 10:36 Read by Martin Geeson
01 - I Christian Opinion 7:53 Read by Martin Geeson
02 - II Vulgar Errors 12:15 Read by Martin Geeson
03 - III Literature: Descriptive 8:15 Read by Martin Geeson
04 - IV Literature: Medico-Forensic 16:12 Read by Martin Geeson
05 - V.i - Literature: Medicine. Moreau 13:20 Read by Martin Geeson
06 - V.ii - Literature: Medicine. Moreau, cont. 10:11 Read by Martin Geeson
07 - V.iii - Literature: Medicine. Tarnowsky 10:32 Read by Martin Geeson
08 - V.iv - Literature: Medicine. Krafft-Ebing 19:26 Read by Martin Geeson
09 - V.v - Literature: Medicine. Krafft-Ebing, cont. 15:52 Read by Martin Geeson
10 - V.vi - Literature: Medicine. Lombroso 15:47 Read by Martin Geeson
11 - V.vii - Literature: Medicine. Note to the Foregoing Section 16:14 Read by Martin Geeson
12 - VI - Literature: Historical, Anthropological 17:57 Read by Martin Geeson
13 - VII.i - Literature: Polemical. Ulrichs 19:19 Read by Martin Geeson
14 - VII.ii - Literature: Polemical. Ulrichs, cont. 12:46 Read by Martin Geeson
15 - VII.iii - Literature: Polemical. Ulrichs, cont. 10:35 Read by Martin Geeson
16 - VII.iv - Literature: Polemical. Ulrichs, cont. 16:00 Read by Martin Geeson
17 - VII.v - Literature: Polemical. Ulrichs, cont. 13:06 Read by Martin Geeson
18 - VIII.i - Literature: Idealistic. Walt Whitman 11:14 Read by Martin Geeson
19 - VIII.ii - Literature: Idealistic. Walt Whitman, cont. 13:23 Read by Martin Geeson
20 - IX - Epilogue 10:25 Read by Martin Geeson
21 - X - Suggestions upon Legislation 9:32 Read by Martin Geeson


I'm strait yet i am against oppression of the LGBT

(3 stars)

This tract written by John Addington Symonds is as important today as it was then. However I do believe Symonds puts too much stress on the sexual, while excluding platonic love, the highest i believe imho.

not a book I would have read as a paper copy

(5 stars)

...but I will listen to anything read by Martin Geeson. He's a fabulous reader and I did find this book to be a very interesting commentary on the development of views on homosexuality.

(5 stars)

Thoroughly interesting material that unfortunately has been relegated to the secret corners of dusty, special-interest scholar libraries for too long. Boldly explores “unmentionable” subjects with erudition and passion. Martin Geeson gives a clear yet dramatic reading. Thank you, sir.

Excellent Reader

(5 stars)

One of the best readers on Librivox. Pronounces the Greek, Latin, and German passages with skill. Excellent expression of poetry. Also, this is a highly important text--I am glad it was confidently read.

the problem of modern ethics

(4 stars)

interesting text and the reader was very good, offers various ideas


(5 stars)

Something really different. Thanks for your hard work Mr. Geeson. Great job!!

good book well read

(5 stars)

Very good and interesting study, well read