Love and Death

In Michael Cholbi (ed.), Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. pp. 135-156 (2016)
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It is commonly thought that there is a connection between love and death. But what can be said philosophically about the nature of that connection (if indeed it exists)? Plato's Symposium suggests at least three possible ways in which love and death might be connected: first, that love entails (or ought to entail) a willingness to die for one’s beloved; second, that love is a desire for (or perhaps itself is) a kind of death; and third, that love is linked to human mortality and the desire for immortality. I argue that each of these three suggestions is problematic, and should not be accepted at face value. I am ultimately skeptical as to whether any one, overriding connection—be it moral or causal or metaphysical—between love and death exists. At the very least, the matter deserves more nuanced and multi-faceted reflection than what we find in the Symposium.



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Daniel Werner
State University of New York (SUNY)

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References found in this work

Nicomachean ethics.H. Aristotle & Rackham - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Michael Pakaluk.
Being and nothingness.Jean-Paul Sartre - 1956 - Avenel, N.J.: Random House.
The world as will and representation.Arthur Schopenhauer & E. F. J. Payne - 2010 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Judith Norman, Alistair Welchman & Christopher Janaway.

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