• Deborah MB

A messy "Philosophy of Prostitution"

Philosophy of Prostitution is a vanity project by Nicola Daugava. Despite its self-definition as ‘A Philosophical memoir of the business of prostitution and growing out of it’, it is not an academic treatise on prostitution. For that matter, there is little analysis of prostitution as well. Instead, one finds a convoluted ramble of what Mr Daugava understands to be the moral works of society.

Mr Daugava considers himself an observer and philosopher. His writing attempts a return to the styles of the late 19th, early 20th centuries. He calls on his background Eastern-European education, alongside his time in the Canadian outback, to impersonate a Walden-esque voice. This work has forgotten that, in the 21st Century, audiences of philosophy are used to solid source work.

Who would enjoy this book

I suppose one could suggest this volume for people who like archaic styles of writing. Or, it may suit those who enjoy getting lost in “stream of consciousness” without specific objectives of understanding.

Who should give this a pass

Philosophy of Prostitution should be avoided by anyone looking for a reliable philosophical study of prostitution, or even research on prostitution from a particular philosophical branch. As Mr Daugava explains, he has neither a background in philosophy nor experience in the sex trade, and has reached his conclusions in the book via by applying his imagination.

Conclusions and suggestions

Philosophy of Prostitution offers an interesting idea up-front, but fails to deliver on it.

Randomly blending ‘Star Trek’ Borgs and Socionics is not enough. What Philosophy of Prostitution provides is too overloaded with offshoots for “just curious” readers, and not structured enough for serious ones.

In addition, Mr Daugava presents a work without the benefit of editorial help. He acknowledges his English, not being native, is lacking, but other than a cursory once-over proof-reading check by a friend, has done nothing to it. This is usual of vanity-projects, where the author either lacks the funds, the humility, or both, for professional support. As a result, the text is nearly impossible to wade through: it needs a good grammatical make-over; as well as radical pruning.

What Philosophy of Prostitution can be useful for, is as an example. It shows us what a first draft can be, as well as demonstrates the need for beta readers and professional editors. A volume such as this would probably need a few rounds of editing before becoming a desirable product. I hope Mr Daugava considers this, and is able to release a better product in future.

To begin with, a book like this needs (in no particular order, as they tend to overlap):

· Language editing: use of punctuation; control of sentence length; paragraph connection

· Structural editing: clear definition of each section; aims and conclusions; headers, sub-headers and section breaks

· Fact-checking and indexing: source citation & a detailed explanation of each term, and its occurrence in the text (Mr Daugava is very high-handed in his explanations in the “Philosophical” section and his asseveration that the terms will appear again but won’t be explained again in further sections)

· Scope limitation: streamlining of examples and associations to avoid getting lost in tangents

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