Does love command an ineffability that remains inaccessible to the philosopher?
Thinking About Love considers the nature and experience of love through the writing of well-known Continental philosophers such as Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques Derrida, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
Evolving forms of social organization, rapid developments in the field of psychology, and novel variations on relationships demand new approaches to and ways of talking about love. Rather than offering prescriptive claims, this volume explores how one might think about the concept philosophically, without attempting to resolve or alleviate its ambiguities, paradoxes, and limitations. The essays focus on the contradictions and limits of love, manifested in such phenomena as trust, abuse, grief, death, violence, politics, and desire.
An erudite examination of the many facets of love, this book fills a lacuna in the philosophy of this richly complicated topic.
Along with the editors, the contributors are Sophie Bourgault, John Caruana, Christina M. Gschwandtner, Marguerite La Caze, Alphonso Lingis, Christian Lotz, Todd May, Dawne McCance, Dorothea Olkowski, Felix Ó Murchadha, Fiona Utley, and Mélanie Walton.
Diane Enns is Associate Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University and the author of Speaking of Freedom and The Violence of Victimhood, the last also published by Penn State.
Antonio Calcagno is Professor of Philosophy at King’s University College at Western University. His most recent book is Contemporary Italian Political Philosophy.
“This collection opens up an overdue discussion of the intersections of love and thinking within the continental tradition.”
—Helen A. Fielding, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
“The editors of this inspiring new collection rightly contend that the question of love is woefully under-treated in contemporary Continental philosophy. This failure has impoverished both philosophy and contemporary life, making this volume a timely and much-needed intervention as well as a cause for gratitude.”
—Jason M. Wirth, author of Commiserating with Devastated Things: Milan Kundera and the Entitlements of Thinking
“The contributors—scholars from Canada, Australia, the UK, and the US—offer insightful examinations of love, in its romantic/erotic, kenotic, friendship, and agapic forms. . . . A worthy foray into a topic of universal human experience, this collection will awaken readers to the value of what philosophy today says about love.”
—S. Young, Choice
“By bringing together a variety of critical approaches in contemporary Continental philosophy, ranging from phenomenology and psychoanalysis to neuroscience and Marxism, this comprehensive collection explores in depth the complexity, complicity, and possibility of love in its multiple manifestations: erotic, political, religious, and social. Through the undertheorized prism of love, the book addresses key contemporary philosophers—Arendt, Beauvoir, Derrida, Kristeva, Lyotard, Marx, Merleau-Ponty—and offers compelling rethinking of crucial philosophical themes, such as vulnerability, finitude, alterity, passions, nature, and materialism, as well as philosophy itself.”
—Ewa Ziarek, author of Feminist Aesthetics and the Politics of Modernism