What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

PWR 2JW  Instructor: Jonah WIllihnganz Winter 2021, Tue/Thur 4:30-05:50pm 4 units, WR-2
Love is said to be the key to everything from psychological development to achieving social justice. But as renowned psychologist Erich Fromm said as far back as the 1950s, love appears to be disintegrating in modern society. This may be partly because most of us don’t in fact understand it very well. It may be true that, as the Beatles say, All You Need is Love, but it also seems, as Lady Gaga says, we Don’t Know What Love Is. This class gives students an opportunity to take a deep dive into the nature of love—its history, its practice, and how it has been studied.  We will look at all types of love, from familial and brotherly to romantic and spiritual, and you will be introduced to conflicting ways it has been defined (a drive, an emotion, an orientation to the world, etc.), functions it has often been given (reproduction, kinship, finding ultimate truth, etc.), and ways people have cultivated it (service, therapy, spiritual practice).  The course will also introduce you to how various disciplines such as anthropology, biology, psychology, and art approach a complex experience such as love.