Research seminar - Falling in love

Pilar Lopez-Cantero from the University of Manchester presents on the philosophy of love and romantic relationships.

Abstract - Falling in love

"Loving changes who we are (Helm, 2010: Frankfurt, 2004); it is an appreciation of the beloved’s incomparable value (Velleman, 1998); it allows to “really see” another’s humanity (Murdoch, 1997). Philosophers have frequently pointed at love as one of the most significant features in a person's life.

However, in the case of romantic partners, it seems that we play dirty in order to get to that state. Before 'loving proper', we have to go through an irrational phase -what is commonly known as 'falling in love' is considered, at best, a necessary evil.

In this paper, I defend falling in love as a necessary condition for being in love -the 'second phase' love which is usually considered 'loving proper' (Nozick, 1989). Firstly, I make a distinction between infatuation, limerence and falling in love. Secondly, I give my account of falling in love.

I argue that falling in love is a process of radical change of one's identity which is characterised by its pervasiveness: it colours not only other features in our self-concept, but our way of interpreting the world. Finally, I deal with two objections to the account. The first one is that pervasiveness does not seem necessary for falling out of love. The second is that even if pervasiveness is indeed necessary, it may be disvaluable."

Pilar Lopez-Cantero - University of Manchester


Seminar Room 2
IDEA Centre
University of Leeds

The seminar takes place at the usual time of 12pm-1.15pm.  All are welcome and no registration is required.