Love: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives


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INS300 - Love: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives


ENG 106 and one lower-level liberal studies (LSO) or Critical Thinking course.

What is the nature of love? In his novel La Nouvelle Héloïse, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's female protagonist, Julie, states: So many people speak of love, and so few know how to love.... The experience of romantic love raises several philosophical concerns. Is love an emotion or a feeling? Why do we say? I fell in love? Is love irrational or can one deliberately choose to love? Is there a difference between love and its trashy cousin lust? As one commentator explains, Love thrives on candlelight and conversation. Lust is equally happy in a doorway or a taxi. Is love at first sight? logically possible? Is love necessarily exclusive (i.e. can you be in love with two persons at the same time)? Is true or genuine love possible, or is love perhaps an illusion, a chimera? In this course, we will probe and interrogate your most intimate intuitions and notions of love as they are defined historically and characterized contemporarily.

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