Synopses & Reviews
A rising star in philosophy examines the cultural, social, and scientific interpretations of love to answer one of our most enduring questions.
What is love? Aside from being the title of many a popular love song, this is one of life's perennial questions. In What Love Is, philosopher Carrie Jenkins offers a bold new theory on the nature of romantic love that reconciles its humanistic and scientific components. Love can be a social construct (the idea of a perfect fairy tale romance) and a physical manifestation (those anxiety- inducing heart palpitations); we must recognize its complexities and decide for ourselves how to love. Motivated by her own polyamorous relationships, she examines the ways in which our parameters of love have recently changed — to be more accepting of homosexual, interracial, and non-monogamous relationships — and how they will continue to evolve in the future. Full of anecdotal, cultural, and scientific reflections on love, What Love Is is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand what it means to say "I love you." Whether young or old, gay or straight, male or female, polyamorous or monogamous, this book will help each of us decide for ourselves how we choose to love.
"Is love biological? Is love a social construct? Is it both? Does it matter? For anyone who thinks he or she "knows" what love is — or who insists it's a mystery we can't know and shouldn't even try — Carrie Jenkins' provocative, well-researched and highly enjoyable What Love Is and What it Could Be is a must-read. Jenkins gently but thoroughly strips away any preconceived notions of romantic love and instead offers the promise of a broader, more inclusive and, yes, more loving version of love." Vicki Larson, journalist and co-author of The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels
"This book is an invitation to think for yourself about what romantic love is and might be. Carrie Jenkins writes with great clarity and openness about a concept that matters to us all." Nigel Warburton, author of A Little History of Philosophy
"Required reading – equally important to its subject matter, the book is a master class in how to think and why. Jenkins researches, questions, unpacks, considers, and examines- [she] uses her readable book to advocate for thinking both critically and in great depth as a form of self-protection and self-advocacy." Booklist (Starred Review)
About the Author
Carrie S. I. Jenkins is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and a nationally elected Canada Research Chair. Jenkins received her BA, MPhil and PhD degrees from Trinity College, Cambridge, where she read philosophy in the analytic tradition shaped by Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and G.E. Moore. She previously held academic posts at the University of St Andrews, the Australian National University, and the University of Michigan.
Carrie Jenkins on PowellsBooks.Blog
I was raised in the '80s by a feminist. When I was a young child, Mum and my little brother and I often drove long distances together. Driving late into the night, we played our favorite songs over and over on the wonky little tape player at the front of our split-screen VW camper van...