The Philosophy of (Erotic) Love

Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins

What does philosophy know of love? From Plato on, philosophers have struggled to pin love to the dissecting table and view it in the cold light of logic. Yet, as Arthur Danto writes in the foreword to this volume, "how incorrigibly stiff philosophy is when it undertakes to lay its icy fingers on the frilled and beating wings of the butterfly of love."

Love, elusive and philosophically intractable as it is, has long fascinated philosophers. In this collection of classic and modern writings on the topic of erotic love, Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins have chosen excerpts from the great philosophical texts and combined them with the most exciting new work of philosophers writing today.

“Stunning! This brilliant interdisciplinary collection is as provocative, enchanting, and richly rewarding as its topic. Unrivaled in scope and richness, blending classic and contemporary readings on love, here is a wellspring of insights for scholars, students, and general readers alike.”

—Mike W. Martin, author of Self-Deception and Morality

“In the end one loves one’s desire and not what is desired.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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The result is a broadly conceived, comprehensive, and important work, nearly as stimulating and provocative as love itself. It examines the mysteries of erotic love from a variety of philosophical perspectives and provides an impressive display of the wisdom that the world's best thinkers have brought, and continue to bring, to the study of love.

About the Author

Robert C. Solomon is Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. Among his most important publications are Love: Emotion, Myth, and Metaphor, About Love: Reinventing Romance for Our Times, and The Passions.