The Conditions of Love: The Philosophy of Intimacy

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9780713994735: The Conditions of Love: The Philosophy of Intimacy

“A gracefully argued and compassionate work. . . . Armstrong does for philosophy what Adam Phillips does for psychoanalysis: removes our fear of it: demonstrates its fascinations. Conditions of Love works like a loving conversation; the reader is attracted, amused, encouraged to respond, left fulfilled and eager for more.” ―Independent on Sunday

‘What is it to love another person?’ This is to raise one of the deepest, and most puzzling, questions we can put to ourselves. Love is a central theme in the autobiography we each write as we try to understand our lives; but we may feel that we become only more confused the more we reflect upon it. Love is closely connected with our vision of happiness; yet there is no one we are more likely to hurt, or be hurt by, than the person we love. If love is something we all want, why is it so hard to find and harder to keep? Love is one of humanity’s most persistent and most esteemed ideals, but it is hard to say exactly what this ideal is and how―if at all―it relates to real life.

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About the Author:

John Armstrong is a research fellow in the philosophy of art at the University of Melbourne and director of the Aesthetics Programme at the Monash Centre for Public Philosophy in Australia.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this meditative but somewhat murky philosophical account of love, Armstrong aims to develop a "mature conception" of the emotion by exploring a different love-related theme in each chapter of this slim volume. He critiques Plato's "myth of original unity," suggesting that the right attitude may more important than the right person; contemplates Stendahl's beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder theory of "crystallization"; and ponders love's relationship to charity, the meaning of life and, much too briefly, sexuality. In general, the goal seems to be a gathering of miscellaneous and diverse ideas from thinkers, novelists, and artists from Augustine to Freud put to service towards a study of our most powerful emotion. Armstrong calls this approach "pandoxist," which at its best is breezy and refreshing, and at its worst seems to be an excuse for not examining views critically enough. Armstrong's primary focus is on long-term romantic love (i.e., between sexual partners), but he often veers into discussing fraternal, parental, divine, and altruistic love, and he takes a page from Wittgenstein to argue that there is no one essence uniting all the ways we use the word love. Unlike, say, Ted Cohen's Jokes, a philosophical study of jokes that is itself funny, this book is neither romantic nor sexy. But it is an interesting perspective on the problem of love-one that ultimately feels more personal than philosophical.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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John Armstrong
Editore: Penguin Books Ltd (2002)
ISBN 10: 0713994738 ISBN 13: 9780713994735
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Descrizione libro Penguin Books Ltd, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0713994738

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