Love is one of the most important, profound things in life; and yet, it is notoriously hard to articulate just what love is. In this course, we will inquire about the nature of love, addressing some of the central questions that have occupied philosophers of love. Why do we love what we love? Who can love, and who can be loved? What does love demand of us, and how can we love well? What is the relationship between love and morality? And what is love? We will seek an understanding of love that can account, in particular, for the central role that love plays in human life – the sense in which it is “what makes the world go ‘round.” We will discuss historical and contemporary philosophical texts, such as Plato’s Symposium, bell hooks’ all about love, and Harry Frankfurt’s The Reasons of Love, as well as literature and film. In the course of our inquiry, we will consider the ways that philosophical reflection – with its focus on conceptual clarity, rational argumentation, and communicative precision – can be enriched by literature and film while, in turn, helping us to better understand literature, film, and life.
Remote or Residential
Current Grade / Education Level
Class Duration (CST)