James Giles studied at the University of British Columbia and the University of Edinburgh, where he gained a PhD in philosophy. He is Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Roskilde University and Lecturer in
the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education. He has also held appointments at other universities in the UK, Denmark, Australia, Guam, and Hawaii.
The purpose of Giles' work is to create a philosophical psychology that explains the core features of the human condition. The unifying theme in his work is the fundamental role that human awareness, in its diverse modes, plays in that condition. Giles' research ranges over the theory of perception, personal identity, the self, sexual desire, sexual attraction, cross-sex friendships, and romantic love. He has argued for an experiential account of the material world and the non-existence of a persisting self, describing self-awareness as the awareness of a constructed self-image.
Giles is the originator of the vulnerability and care theory of love, the view of sexual desire as an existential need, and how at the heart of sexual attraction lies the experience of allure, a type of attraction that is fundamentally different from other forms of interpersonal attraction. He is also the author of the the naked love theory of human hairlessness, a view that locates the evolutionary origin of human hairlessness in the ancestral mother-infant relationship and the pleasure of skin-to-skin contact between mother and child. Author to several works, Giles is typically interdisciplinary and intercultural in his research, drawing on such areas as philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and biology, while exploring their expression in different cultures. Only through such an approach, argues Giles, can we hope to understand the human condition.
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