Teaching the Metaphysics of Love

This term I am teaching a seminar on the Metaphysics of Romantic Love for undergraduate philosophy majors.  So far we've covered two readings: the introduction and chapter 1 of All About Love by bell hooks, and Thomas Smith's paper 'Romantic Love'.

Using these works as a springboard, student-led class discussions have already brought up a number of methodological questions that I think are of central importance for this research project, such as:

  • Is it possible to define (or even give necessary and sufficient conditions for) romantic love?
  • Is it desirable to do so?
  • What is (or should be) the role of intuitions in a metaphysical investigation of love?
  • What is (or should be) the role of life experience in such an investigation?
  • What is (or should be) the role of scientific research in such an investigation?

I am looking forward to the rest of our meetings!