Love in the Dark: Philosophy by Another Name

Hardcover | September 6, 2016

byDiane Enns

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Intimate love opens us up to suffering, sacrifice, and loss. Is it always worth the risk? Consulting philosophers, writers, and poets who draw insights from material life, Diane Enns shines a light on the limits of erotic love, exploring its paradoxes through personal and philosophical reflections. Situating experience at the center of her inquiry, Enns conducts philosophy "by another name," elaborating the ambiguities and risks of love with visceral clarity.

Love in the Dark claims that intimacy must accept risk as long as love does not destroy the self. Erotic love inspires an inexplicable affirmation of another but can erode autonomy and vulnerability. There is a limit to love, and appreciating it requires a rethinking of love's liberal paradigms, which Enns traces back to the hostility toward the body and eros in Christianity and the Western philosophical tradition. Against a legacy of an abstract and sanitized love, Enns recasts erotic attachment as an event linked to conditional circumstances. The value of love lies in its intensity and depth, and its end does not negate love's truth or significance. Writing in a lyrical, genre-defying style, Enns delineates the paradoxes of love in its relations to lust, abuse, suffering, and grief to reach an account faithful to human experience.

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Intimate love opens us up to suffering, sacrifice, and loss. Is it always worth the risk? Consulting philosophers, writers, and poets who draw insights from material life, Diane Enns shines a light on the limits of erotic love, exploring its paradoxes through personal and philosophical reflections. Situating experience at the center o...

Diane Enns is associate professor of philosophy at McMaster University. She is the author of The Violence of Victimhood (2012) and Speaking of Freedom: Philosophy, Politics, and the Struggle for Liberation (2007) and the coeditor of Thinking About Love: Essays in Contemporary Continental Philosophy (2015).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:September 6, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231178964

ISBN - 13:9780231178969

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsPart I. LegacyRuined StatesWhat Is Love?Anarchic ErosThe Cannibal Husbands of Our FuturesTwo CrucifixionsIf Only We Had Read the Song of SolomonBurningFind the ClitorisShameVulgar LoveAmbivalent PleasureRigor MortisPart II. LoveThe WeHappy LoveSweet AppleInsatiable Demand for PresenceLove for the LivingThe Infinite Plasticity of PositionL'Amour FouBeautificationPathological LoveThe InterworldThe Gift"Volo Ut Sis"Part III. LimitsAmputation"You Made My Life Better"On the Question of WorthMy Best ThingPeeled SkinCan't or Won'tThe Angryman and the SweetmanAbusionA MisnomerThe Paradox of RiskThe House of TragedyThe LineA Bad CalculationSweet RevengeSavingLeavingPart IV. LossThe Original LossSlow HeartIron AirEmotional PossibilityMourning TimeCosmic GiftLosing Is OursGrieving the LivingSingularity and BetrayalThe Ambiguity of LonelinessSurvivalMonumentsAfterwordNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

How can a philosopher who is heir of the Western tradition write of love without exceeding the fixed boundary that tradition posits between logos and eros? Moving beyond the confines of a disembodied and dematerialized order of reason, Diane Enns opens this reflection on love to the rich philosophical terrain of fiction, memoir, and poetry, allowing passion-her own and that of such thinkers as Augustine, Arendt, Kristeva, Cixous, and Gillian Rose-to infuse and inform her study. This is, indeed, philosophy by another name.