A Philosophical History of Love explores the importance and development of love in the Western world. Wayne Cristaudo argues that love is a materializing force, a force consisting of various distinctive qualities or spirits. He argues that we cannot understand Western civilization unless we realize that, within its philosophical and religious heritage, there is a deep and profound recognition of love's creative and redemptive power.
Cristaudo explores philosophical love (the love of wisdom) and the love of God and neighbor. The history of the West is equally a history of phantasmic versions of love and the thwarting of love. Thus, the history of our hells may be seen as the history of love's distortions and the repeated pseudo-victories of our preferences for the phantasms of love. Cristaudo argues that the catastrophes from our phantasmic loves threaten to extinguish us, forcing us repeatedly to open ourselves to new possibilities of love, to new spirits.
Fusing philosophy, literature, theology, psychology, and anthropology, the volume reviews major thinkers in the field, from Plato and Freud, to Pierce, Shakespeare, and Flaubert. Cristaudo explores the major themes of love of the Church, romantic love and the return of the feminine, the conflict between familial and romantic love, love in a meaningless world and the love of evil, and the evolutionary idea of love. With Cristaudo, the reader embarks on a journey not just through time, but also through the different kinds, origins, and spirits of love.
"In many ways, love has been relegated to the "unreal" or the purely emotional side of life. But Cristaudo (Univ. of Hong Kong) argues here that love remains a substantial reality that can infuse people's relationships and shape people's sense of who they are. In fact, this book is a hymn to love and, as Cristaudo says, it "rests on the premise that love itself is a subject and that it is striving to realize itself." Cristaudo describes the telos of love's development with chapters on Plato, Christ, Saint Augustine, courtly love, Dante, family love, and Peirce. Love is viewed as the key to Western culture, and Christianity is held to offer the greatest achievement of love.... Cristaudo presents a great many ideas in these pages.... Highly recommended."
--R. White, "Choice"
"[A] sprawling study of love in all its forms (though he focuses primarily on 'love of wisdom... love of God... and romantic love'), recalling Plato, Christ, Dante, Marquis de Sade, and other key figures whose ideas and teachings have shaped its development in Western thought.... a powerful vision of love as a complex, evolving material force.... scholars and philosophy buffs are treated to a dazzling panoply of philosophies that extends well beyond that represented in the table of contents... the book's essential message: 'the 'ism'and 'ist' ideologies of modernity... are all serving the same dead end if they do not make the world and the practitioners more lovable.'"
"Wayne Cristaudo presents an intriguing break down of human history and one of the most base of emotions, from ancient philosophy of the Greeks, Christ, to the other extreme, the love of hate. "A Philosophical History of Love" is well worth considering for those musing philosophy and this unifying element of humankind, highly recommended."
-- Library Bookwatch
"Sensible and humane, provocative and challenging reflections. . . . a lively, reflective introduction to selected philosophica
|Plato and the First Philosophy of Love||p. 9|
|The Love of Christ||p. 41|
|The Loves of St. Augustine and the Church: Religion plus Philosophy plus Politics||p. 71|
|The Medieval Return of Venus||p. 85|
|Dante's Divine Comedy: The Heavenly Romance||p. 101|
|Love in the Family and Its Dissolution||p. 111|
|De Sade and the Love of Evil||p. 123|
|Charles Sanders Peirce and Love as Evolutionary Principle||p. 139|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 196
Published: 16th May 2012
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Dimensions (cm): 23.7 x 16.5 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.393