Pilot Workshop

Our inaugural event, the pilot workshop, was a great success. Five talks and a workshop dinner gave us lots of opportunities for conversation, but even so, the discussions could have gone on much longer.

Sara Protasi kicked things off with her talk "Invideo et Amo, or The Paradox of Love and Envy". Sara argued that not only are love and envy compatible (in the sense that one can experience both at the same time towards the same person), but the combination of love and envy is predictable due to the similarities in the underlying circumstances that give rise to each, and moreover can be a good thing.

Justin Clardy then presented "On Tenderness", offering an original account of what tenderness consists in. Distinguishing it from both sentimentality and sensuality, Justin argued that tenderness proper is a kind of behavioural carefulness resulting from reasons generated by the agent's responsiveness to the vulnerability of another. 

After lunch, in a talk entitled "Romantic Relationships and Social Recognition", Aida Roige Mas examined the hypothesis that social recognition is metaphysically required for the existence of a romantic relationship. Drawing on a union view of romantic relationships, Aida considered an argument from intuition, an argument from pragmatic considerations, and others, ultimately concluding that the hypothesis was not well supported.

Jasper Heaton then gave his talk "Good Love Gone Bad", in which he raised the question of what constitutes bad love (meaning love that's bad qua love, rather than e.g. morally bad love), and what differentiates bad love from no love at all. Jasper raised three theories of bad love for consideration: one that attributed the badness to the lovers' relationship (rather than to their love itself), one that treated bad love as love disposed towards its own annihilation, and one that treated it as love disposed to fail to engender reciprocation.

Last but not least, Justin Weinberg discussed what he titled the "One True Love" thesis: the thesis that, for some people, there is one and only one person with whom they could have true love. Justin argued that this thesis is true, then raised questions about whether one should want it to be true of oneself, arguing that such a desire would appear to rest on a mistaken view of how quality is related to scarcity in this kind of case.

All the papers led to lively and thought-provoking discussions, and I'd like to thank all the speakers and participants for their engagement and insights.