Philosophers have been going on about love almost since the beginning. The pre-Socratics had odd things to say about love as a force binding the basic elements of matter to one another, but of course it’s Plato’s Symposium that really started us thinking about love, though it hasn’t just been the Greeks. Philosophers as varied as Augustine and Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche have all famously weighed in, and contemporary philosophers are part of the conversation too. There are metaphysical questions about the nature of love to consider, as well as epistemological, ethical and even political questions one might ask about love.
For her part, Berit Brogaard asks a number of good questions and answers them too. Does the notion of irrational love makes sense? Can you fall in love with the wrong person? Can love be justified? Jean Kazez takes up the nature of parental love and wonders whether it’s really a kind of self-love. Simon May considers the trouble we have defining love and argues that love in the Western world has taken on the role of a new god. Tony Milligan explains what it means to be loved “for who you are”. And finally Jeremy Stangroom takes up the nature of unrequited love and asks is it really better to have loved and lost?