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Romantic Love

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Dalhousie University
PHIL 2170
Samantha Copeland

Monday, January 17, 2011 Defining Romantic Love: • Love, described as a set of necessary and/or sufficient conditions o Halwani, love as emotion o Agathon, love as a god • Love, as a means to an end (a good for humans) o Speeches of the Symposium, especially Socrates o DH Lawrence, love as a higher emotion – allows us to become complete, fully realized human beings • Love, as a human end in itself (a human good) o Aristophanes and Nozick, humans by nature desire actual or practical union through love o Love is the desire to create a union – Union – by sharing a love. Loving becomes the end itself; relationship that we’re looking for o Nozick – wants to create a ‘we’ in which ‘we’ can then engage the world as a united entity – the idea of ‘couple’ – metaphysical in Aristophanes; Nozick – sense of the union, not the physical union that’s important Agathon – host of the Symposium (in reference to the dialogue). • Most similar to Halwani – makes up a list of characteristics that love must have • Love as an emotion – narrows down characteristics that must be necessary for love (#16 is the most fundamental) • Agathon however, tries to describe the god Eros. Rather than looking for an emotion, he’s looking for when we would say Eros is present in the world o No one’s paid enough attention to the characteristics of this god o Looking at what Eros does, but not Eros – have to look further to see what the God is (p.36) o Ex. Eros is: o Youngest of the gods (we find erotic love in its greatest quantity and intensity among the young), o A gentle god (we find love in the soft soul, and he makes those who are other rough more gentle), o “Also flowing of form” (because of the way he moves and slips through souls love is not awkward but graceful; love is subtle, supposed to have a certain lightness of heart), o Of fine complexion (he lives in flowers), o Just and peaceful (love does not work through force, what we agree upon through love can wrong neither party), o Temperate (love is a master of all desires and pleasures when it is present; If we have any other desire/pleasure, and we also have love, love is in control of those other desires. Because love is the strongest force, our concept of what is pleasurable, lov
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