Philosophy Salon: Dimensions of Love
Join us as Philosopher Dr Tim Dean facilitates an intimate Philosophy Salon of wine, cheese, charcuterie – and philosophy.
The strange thing about love is that even though we experience it in a deeply personal and apparently instinctive way, it has a long history. People around the world haven’t always thought about love the way we do today. The point of rehearsing a few key ideas around love’s history is to remind ourselves that there are different ways of arranging relationships depending on how a given society conceives of love.
The ancient Greeks explored love in four dimensions;
Eros - the erotic, sexual desire based on physical instincts or lust for a person’s beauty as well as perhaps their intellectual or moral qualities;
Philia – the brotherly and sisterly love based on affection yet not necessarily demanding physical satisfaction;
Agape – the notion of love unconditional outside of the virtues of another person or object such as a love of god or love of faith; and
Storge – the parental affection and bonding between a mother or father and their child, regardless of the virtues of the other.
Some thinkers have described love as a union of two individuals, creating a new "we" that has blended interests. Others have focused on the experience of love, and described it as a complex of emotions, covering deep attachment as well vulnerability and a fear of loss.
So while love might be a universal experience, our concept of love is a cultural invention, and we are not at the end of its evolution. Romantic love today seems to be revered above all others. Yet it is a nebulous and fleeting thing, perhaps even an impossibility. Popular culture sings its praises, setting it as the standard for our own lives, yet this may have more to do with it being an ideal vehicle for telling tragic stories.
What happens if we aspire to perfect romantic love in our own lives? Should we return to the Greek notions of love? What other dimensions must we consider to understand the pains of unrequited or denied love? What is the function of love outside of reproduction?
6.30pm Cake Wines Bar Opens
7.00pm Welcome & Introduction
7.15pm Key Idea 1 & conversation
7.45pm Key Idea 2 & conversation
8.15pm Key Idea 3 & conversation
9.00pm Salon Concludes, Bar Open for Continued Conversation
'Are we never to be able to see the true face of love?'
– Paulo Coelho
ABOUT PHILOSOPHY SALONS
Philosophy Salons are an intimate experience for those interested in the practical application of wisdom and philosophy. Learn about the ideas and works of some of history's greatest thinkers in an atmosphere of exploration and enjoyment. Hosted by Sydney’s resident philosopher Tim Dean, the Philosophy Salon explores important philosophers and their key ideas over a two-hour period. Philosophers selected over the series will include a mix of thinkers from different periods, schools of thought, geographical locations and backgrounds. Participants will be presented with a biographical background of the philosopher and will be given an opportunity to discuss their key ideas in small groups.
ABOUT TIM DEAN
Tim Dean is a philosopher and science writer. He has a PhD from the University of New South Wales on evolution and morality, and has an interest in ethics, the philosophy of biology, philosophy of science and moral psychology. He is an Honorary Associate in the Philosophy department at the University of Sydney. In 2015 he won the Australasian Association of Philosophy Media Professionals' Award for his writing on philosophy in New Philosopher, Acuity Magazine, Cosmos, ABC's The Drum and on Channel 10's The Project.