Understanding Love: Philosophy, Film, and Fiction

ISBN : 9780195384505

Susan Wolf; Christopher Grau
416 ページ
156 x 234 mm

This collection of original essays, written by scholars from disciplines across the humanities, addresses a wide range of questions about love through a focus on individual films, novels, plays, and works of philosophy. The essays touch on many varieties of love, including friendship, romantic love, parental love, and even the love of an author for her characters. How do social forces shape the types of love that can flourish and sustain themselves? What is the relationship between love and passion? Is love between human and nonhuman animals possible? What is the role of projection in love? These questions and more are explored through an investigation of works by authors ranging from Henrik Ibsen to Ian McEwan, from Rousseau to the Coen Brothers.


Susan Wolf, Introduction
1. Macalester Bell, "Fording the Great Divide: Grizzly Man and the Possibilities and Limits of Human-Animal Friendship"
2. Lawrence Blum, "False Symmetries in Far From Heaven"
3. Maria DiBattista, "The Untold Want of Now, Voyager"
4. Frances Ferguson, "Communicating Love: Ian McEwan, Saturday, and Personal Affection in the Information Age"
5. Christopher Grau, "Love, Loss, and Identity in Solaris"
6. Nick Halpern, "The Embarrassing Father"
7. Rae Langton, "Projected Love"
8. Douglas MacLean, "Between Desire and Destruction: Reflections on The Go-Between"
9. Toril Moi, , "Something that resembles a kind of love: Fantasy and Realism in Little Eyolf"
10. Fred Neuhouser, "Rousseau's Julie: Passion, Love, and the Price of Virtue"
11. David L. Paletz, "Sherman's March: Romantic Love in Documentary Films"
12. Gilberto Perez, "Hitchcock's Family Romance: Allegory in Shadow of a Doubt"
13. C.D.C. Reeve, "Lessons in Looking: Krzysztof Kieslowski's Short Films on Love"
14. Judith Smith, "Talking Back to Hollywood Love Stories: 'Marital Realism' Films, 1946-1964"
15. George Toles, "Dipping into Omniscience with Willa Cather: Authorial Knowledge as Love"
16. George M. Wilson, "Love and Bullshit in Santa Rosa: On The Man Who Wasn't There"
17. Susan Wolf, "Loving Attention: Lessons in love from The Philadelphia Story"


Susan Wolf is the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work focuses chiefly on ethics and its close relations in philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, political philosophy, and aesthetics. She is author of Freedom Within Reason (OUP, 1990) and Meaning in Life and Why It Matters (Princeton, 2010), as well as numerous articles ranging widely over topics in ethics. Christopher Grau is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University. He specializes in ethics , topics in metaphysics, and philosophical work on film. He has published articles in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, The Journal of Moral Philosophy, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, The Southern Journal of Philosophy and Philosophical Topics. He has also previously edited two books on philosophy and film: Philosophers Explore The Matrix (OUP, 2005), and Philosophers on Film: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Routledge, 2009).