Rowman and Littlefield International

Can Philosophy Love?

Reflections and Encounters

Edited by Cindy Zeiher and Todd McGowan

4 Reviews

This volume considers formalisations of love in the 21st century. Engaging with the Slovenian School of Philosophy, the book contends that psychoanalysis is the one line of thought that exposes the role that love plays in all knowledge, emphasising the importance of love in these unsettled times.

Hardback ISBN: 9781786603227 Release date: Dec 2017
£85.00 €119.00 $126.00
Ebook ISBN: 9781786603241 Release date: Dec 2017
£24.95 €34.95 $38.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781786603234 Release date: Apr 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $39.95

Pages: 336


How can we articulate a philosophy of love? This volume stages encounters between contemporary understandings of love and philosophy. It considers particular continental philosophers who think about love and its relation to desire and sexuality.

The essays in this collection contend with philosophy and psychoanalysis as lines of thought that expose love’s role in all knowledge. Drawing on the work of key thinkers such as Žižek, Badiou, Lacan, Hegel, Vattimo, Caygill, Levinas, Menshikov and Marx, this book puts love to work as a way of understanding the subject of desire as a figure of knowledge shaped by the event of love.

Introduction, Todd McGowan and Cindy Zeiher / Acknowledgements / Part I: Love, Hegel and Lacan / 1. Hegel in Love, Todd McGowan / 2. Towards a Limitless Love or Mystical “Jouissance of Being”, Jelica Sumič / 3. On the Tendency to the Debasement of the Universal in the Sphere of Love, Gabriel Tupinambá / 4L-D-L or Lacan’s Dialectics of Love, Fabio Vighi / 5. Love, or Lack Thereof, Nicole Thomas / 6. Love-Life, Frank Ruda / 7. Love and the Apparatus, Georgois Tsagdis / Part II: Love and Politics / 8. Against Love as a Political Category, Agon Hamza / 9. Ideological Love: Russian Conservative Thinkers of the Fin-de-siecle, Henrietta Mondry / 10. Towards a Politics of Love by Way of Resistance, Jeff Robbins / 11. Politics, Solidarity and the (Dis)Location of Love, Geoff Pfeifer / Part III: Love as a Cultural and Mythical Concern 12. Cordelia’s Kiss, Sigi Jöttkandt / 13. Love and Surveillance: Reformulating the State Gaze in the “Age of 1984”, Ryan Engley / 14. Love’s Intermediary: The Aesthetics of Rousseau’s Amour de Soi, Monique Rooney / 15. The “Endless Space Between Words”: Desire, Fantasy and Interface in Her, Louis-Paul Willis / Part IV: Love, Logic and (Impossible) Demand / 16. On Why Love is a Black Square on a White Square, or Badou on Love, Rado Riha / 17. Weak Love? Mike Grimshaw / 18. Beyond Narcissism: Emmanuel Levinas and “The Wisdom of Love”, Simone Drischel / 19. Struggle as Love Par Excellence: Zupančič avec Badiou, Cindy Zeiher / Index

Todd McGowan is a Professor in the Department of Film and Television Studies at the University of Vermont. His many publications include Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets (2016) and Enjoying What We Don’t Have: The Political Project of Psychoanalysis (2012).

Cindy Zeiher is a Lecturer in the School of Language, Political and Social Sciences at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. She is co-editor of the journal CT&T: Continental Thought and Theory.

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4 Reviews

Why can't the question, "What is love?" be put to rest? This is the real question addressed by this fascinating collection, the persistent provocation that permits it to open new ground. It is often said that questions are more interesting than answers; in this case, the answers could not be more compelling.

Joan Copjec, Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University

A truly remarkable and inspiring collection of essays on topics situated at the intersection between philosophy and psychoanalysis, and leading to a wide range of various further interrogations, including politics. Can Philosophy Love? is simply a must!

Alenka Zupančič, Professor of Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, The European Graduate School

Much of the greatest energy and creativity of contemporary Continental philosophy and the theoretical humanities is situated at the intersection of German idealism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis. This superb collection brings together contributions by some of the leading representatives of this new philosophical constellation. Moreover, it addresses one of the biggest and most difficult perennial questions that anyone who thinks cannot avoid asking: What is love? The contributors’ brilliant essays address amorous matters from Hegelian, Marxian, and Lacanian angles, shedding light both on love itself as well as on the intellectual orientations deployed to analyze it. Nobody interested in either love or today’s theoretical avant-garde can justify ignoring this book.

Adrian Johnston, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of New Mexico

Socrates famously maintained that all he knew was that he knew nothing – except in the matters of love. But can love be a matter of proper knowledge, or is love the one thing that ultimately defies knowledge? After 2500 years of philosophical rumination on love after Plato’s Symposium, can philosophy say something new about love? The essays of the present volume, ranging from Plato to 9/11, from mysticism to Badiou, from Hegel to Lacan, from Rousseau to Levinas, from Kierkegaard to Malevitch, from politics to popular culture, passionately engage with this most praised and most enigmatic of all signifiers, and they succeed, between them, with the most difficult feat: to produce novelty and surprise.

Mladen Dolar, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana

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