The Freud Museum

Events Archive

25 April 2013
Thursdays, 6.30 - 8.30pm

The History of Erotic Love

10 week evening class

This course examines the tradition of erotic love in Western philosophy, touching on anthropology, literature and neuroscience.

We will look at successive theories of love, from Plato to the present, and the changing notions, so germane to these, about what it is to be a human, and to be a man or a woman.  Erotic love is full of contradictions – earthy and gross yet transcendent and spiritual, wild yet exclusive, natural yet artificial, spontaneous and conventional – but so many theories on it fail to do justice to its paradoxical nature. They avoid not only the soul and the genitals, but even the person who is the object of love. We will try and do better.

The ten week course being held on Thursday evenings at the Freud Museum London from 25 April until 4 July (no class 6 June), 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

No prior knowledge will be assumed and you will be guided by an experienced tutor with many years’ teaching experience.

Jane O’Grady did a BEd in English at Homerton College, Cambridge, a BA in philosophy at UCL, and studied the topic of sincerity for a philosophy PhD at Birkbeck College. She teaches Philosophy of Psychology at City University, and is Philosophy Obituarist for the Guardian, as well as writing articles and reviews for various newspapers, magazines and websites. With A J Ayer she co-edited A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations. She has written Introductions to John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty and The Subjection of Women, and to Plato’s Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Symposium (Wordsworth), and 16 entries in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. At the moment, she is writing a book on being in love, which embraces philosophy, psychology, anthropology and literature.

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