An Evening of Love and Metaphysics: Café Philosophique

Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins at Café Philosophique. (Photo by Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa.)

Last night I gave a public talk and Q&A on the Metaphysics of Love at Café Philosophique in Aberdeen.

Questions that were discussed included:

(1) Assuming the Aristophanes Myth is not literally true, what should we make of contemporary talk of “other halves” and “soul mates”?

(2) In the movie Her, a man (apparently) falls in love with his computer operating system. Is it really possible for a human to fall in love with an OS?  Is it possible for an OS to fall in love? Might it be possible in the future?

(3) In 12th-century courtly love triangles, two people might love the same person. But it was not considered possible for one person to love two people. Courtly love was also presented as conforming to fixed gender norms, and as heteroromantic: occurring between opposite-sex partners. To what extent do these features of courtly love survive in our contemporary conceptions of romantic love?

(4) Is romantic love is a relatively recent social construct? What hangs on the answer to this question?

(5) Quietism is the view that we should stop asking metaphysical questions about love, either because we are incapable of discovering the answers, or because there is nothing of substance to discover. Is quietism compelling?

Be sure to check out the excellent livetweeting by audience member @java7nerd (starting here).

Photos from the event can be found here.