New PDF release: Love: A History

By Simon May

ISBN-10: 0300187742

ISBN-13: 9780300187748

Love-unconditional, selfless, unchanging, honest, and absolutely accepting-is worshipped this present day because the West's basically common faith. To problem it really is one in every of our few last taboos. during this pathbreaking and beautifully written e-book, thinker Simon may well does simply that, dissecting our resilient ruling rules of affection and displaying how they're the made of a protracted and robust cultural heritage.

Tracing over 2,500 years of human idea and background, may possibly exhibits how our perfect of affection constructed from its Hebraic and Greek origins along Christianity until eventually, over the past centuries, "God is love" turned "love is God"-so hubristic, so escapist, so untruthful to the genuine nature of affection, that it has booby-trapped relationships all over with deluded expectancies. Brilliantly, may well explores the very various philosophers and writers, either skeptics and believers, who dared to imagine otherwise: from Aristotle's excellent friendship and Ovid's occasion of intercourse and "the chase," to Rousseau's own authenticity, Nietzsche's confirmation, Freud's recommendations of loss and mourning, and tedium in Proust. opposed to our trust that love is an omnipotent option to discovering that means, safety, and happiness in existence, may perhaps unearths with nice readability what love really is: the serious wish for somebody whom we think can flooring and verify our very lifestyles. the sensation that "makes the area pass round" seems to be a harbinger of home--and in that experience, of the sacred.

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Extra info for Love: A History

Sample text

It is also what prevents us from simply asserting the a priori desirability of change and novelty. The singular individual is not there simply to be erased by history’s progressive tide. This might appear to be a thin account of the paradox for those expecting a Christological focus. However, the approach taken here will be to resist prejudging the paradox in terms of any established Christological definition. Rather than allowing a dogmatic position to dictate the terms of our enquiry, we need to understand how the paradox works across a general field of individuality and communication and then see how this affects and transmutes what Christ is and does.

By examining alternative ways of configuring a paradoxical relationship to existence, especially from Either/Or, I propose that the hatred of an Elvira or the heaven-defying solidarity of Antigone offer a viable, radically anti-transcendent faith that has no Christological focus. I confirm this through critiquing inferior Christianized figures of submissive womanhood/nature in Kierkegaard’s discourses and call for a reevaluation of the demonic. Chapter 6 takes up that reevaluation in small part, by examining material from the upbuilding discourses on the “thorn in the flesh” and its description as an angel of Satan.

Within the bounds of practical reason, we posit religious ideals to infinitize the moral demand upon us. A paradoxical effect of limitation is—in one carefully defined sense—to defy, or at least render inoperative, the limits of morality and finitude. Morality is not a matter of calculation, of “this far, and no further,” but an exercise of the boundless moral will, which no merely objective reality can determine. The limit here is never one; the limit of reason folds back upon itself and becomes a line running through reason itself, determining its legitimate and illegitimate uses as belonging to two different domains.

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Love: A History by Simon May


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