Understanding Love

Understanding Love : Philosophy, Film, and Fiction

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This collection of original essays, written by scholars from disciplines across the humanities, addresses a wide range of questions about love through a focus on individual films, novels, plays, and works of philosophy. The essays touch on many varieties of love, including friendship, romantic love, parental love, and even the love of an author for her characters. How do social forces shape the types of love that can flourish and sustain themselves? What is the relationship between love and passion? Is love between human and nonhuman animals possible? What is the role of projection in love? These questions and more are explored through an investigation of works by authors ranging from Henrik Ibsen to Ian McEwan, from Rousseau to the Coen Brothers.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 30mm | 544.31g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195384504
  • 9780195384505
  • 1,769,662

Table of contents

Susan Wolf, Introduction ; 1. Macalester Bell, "Fording the Great Divide: Grizzly Man and the Possibilities and Limits of Human-Animal Friendship" ; 2. Lawrence Blum, "False Symmetries in Far From Heaven" ; 3. Maria DiBattista, "The Untold Want of Now, Voyager" ; 4. Frances Ferguson, "Communicating Love: Ian McEwan, Saturday, and Personal Affection in the Information Age" ; 5. Christopher Grau, "Love, Loss, and Identity in Solaris" ; 6. Nick Halpern, "The Embarrassing Father" ; 7. Rae Langton, "Projected Love" ; 8. Douglas MacLean, "Between Desire and Destruction: Reflections on The Go-Between" ; 9. Toril Moi, , "Something that resembles a kind of love: Fantasy and Realism in Little Eyolf" ; 10. Fred Neuhouser, "Rousseau's Julie: Passion, Love, and the Price of Virtue" ; 11. David L. Paletz, "Sherman's March: Romantic Love in Documentary Films" ; 12. Gilberto Perez, "Hitchcock's Family Romance: Allegory in Shadow of a Doubt" ; 13. C.D.C. Reeve, "Lessons in Looking: Krzysztof Kieslowski's Short Films on Love" ; 14. Judith Smith, "Talking Back to Hollywood Love Stories: 'Marital Realism' Films, 1946-1964" ; 15. George Toles, "Dipping into Omniscience with Willa Cather: Authorial Knowledge as Love" ; 16. George M. Wilson, "Love and Bullshit in Santa Rosa: On The Man Who Wasn't There" ; 17. Susan Wolf, "Loving Attention: Lessons in love from The Philadelphia Story"
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Review quote

Reading these essays in conjunction with viewing or reading the works on which they focus can be instructive, both about how much is in these works and about ways of reading films, novels, and plays more generally.This is a book that can be enjoyed in many ways over time by reading the essays and going to the art works discussed armed with new questions and with new knowledge about the meanings of the art works discussed. * Metapsychology Reviews Online * The book represents a heavily interdisciplinary approach through which one can glean invocations for what might count as love or, more often, what ought to count as good, healthy love. The book offers a multiplicity of accounts, wonderfully illustrated through examples from literature and film, some of which serve as foils to ideal love and others that seem to urge us to broaden our folk-psychological concept of it, or at least to not dogmatically demarcate the
boundaries of the concept along familiar lines. * Allison Fritz, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism * Born out of a desire to bring together disparate voices across the humanities, this volume looks at love using a "non-disciplinarian" model of interdisciplinarity... Highly Recommended. * S. J. Shaw, CHOICE *
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About Susan Wolf

Susan Wolf is the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work focuses chiefly on ethics and its close relations in philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, political philosophy, and aesthetics. She is author of Freedom Within Reason (OUP, 1990) and Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (Princeton, 2010), as well as numerous articles ranging widely over topics in ethics.

Christopher Grau is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University. He specializes in ethics , topics in metaphysics, and philosophical work on film. He has published articles in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, The Journal of Moral Philosophy, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, The Southern Journal of Philosophy and Philosophical Topics. He has also previously edited two books on philosophy and film: Philosophers Explore The Matrix (OUP, 2005), and Philosophers on Film:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Routledge, 2009).
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