Love in the Dark

Philosophy by Another Name

Diane Enns

Columbia University Press

Love in the Dark

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Pub Date: September 2016

ISBN: 9780231178969

176 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $30.00£24.00

Pub Date: September 2016

ISBN: 9780231542098

176 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£24.00

Love in the Dark

Philosophy by Another Name

Diane Enns

Columbia University Press

Intimate love opens us up to suffering, sacrifice, and loss. Is it always worth the risk? Consulting philosophers, writers, and poets who draw insights from material life, Diane Enns shines a light on the limits of erotic love, exploring its paradoxes through personal and philosophical reflections. Situating experience at the center of her inquiry, Enns conducts philosophy "by another name," elaborating the ambiguities and risks of love with visceral clarity.

Love in the Dark claims that intimacy must accept risk as long as love does not destroy the self. Erotic love inspires an inexplicable affirmation of another but can erode autonomy and vulnerability. There is a limit to love, and appreciating it requires a rethinking of love's liberal paradigms, which Enns traces back to the hostility toward the body and eros in Christianity and the Western philosophical tradition. Against a legacy of an abstract and sanitized love, Enns recasts erotic attachment as an event linked to conditional circumstances. The value of love lies in its intensity and depth, and its end does not negate love's truth or significance. Writing in a lyrical, genre-defying style, Enns delineates the paradoxes of love in its relations to lust, abuse, suffering, and grief to reach an account faithful to human experience.
Diane Enns manages to strike a delicate balance between the intensely personal and the rigorously intellectual. She presents a profound meditation on love and its loss, passion and despair, risking everything and surviving despite everything. These are timeless, all-too-human topics. Mari Ruti, author of The Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living
Love in the Dark is engaging, developing fresh and bold perspectives that challenge the conventional interpretations of love. Linell Secomb, author of Philosophy and Love: From Plato to Popular Culture
How can a philosopher who is heir of the Western tradition write of love without exceeding the fixed boundary that tradition posits between logos and eros? Moving beyond the confines of a disembodied and dematerialized order of reason, Diane Enns opens this reflection on love to the rich philosophical terrain of fiction, memoir, and poetry, allowing passion—her own and that of such thinkers as Augustine, Arendt, Kristeva, Cixous, and Gillian Rose—to infuse and inform her study. This is, indeed, philosophy by another name. Dawne McCance, author of Derrida on Religion: Thinker of Differance
Being more concerned about psychological states and experiences of love than about relationships, Enns’ reflections bring to the fore different insights than those of the western philosophical and theological tradition, which she spurns. Heythrop Journal
Enns's resistance to conditioning love on relationships of equality presents a surprisingly hopeful picture about the possibility of love for our own lives. Justin Clardy, Stanford University, Hypatia Reviews Online
Preface
Acknowledgments
Part I. Legacy
Ruined States
What Is Love?
Anarchic Eros
The Cannibal Husbands of Our Futures
Two Crucifixions
If Only We Had Read the Song of Solomon
Burning
Find the Clitoris
Shame
Vulgar Love
Ambivalent Pleasure
Rigor Mortis
Part II. Love
The We
Happy Love
Sweet Apple
Insatiable Demand for Presence
Love for the Living
The Infinite Plasticity of Position
L'Amour Fou
Beautification
Pathological Love
The Interworld
The Gift
"Volo Ut Sis"
Part III. Limits
Amputation
"You Made My Life Better"
On the Question of Worth
My Best Thing
Peeled Skin
Can't or Won't
The Angryman and the Sweetman
Abusion
A Misnomer
The Paradox of Risk
The House of Tragedy
The Line
A Bad Calculation
Sweet Revenge
Saving
Leaving
Part IV. Loss
The Original Loss
Slow Heart
Iron Air
Emotional Possibility
Mourning Time
Cosmic Gift
Losing Is Ours
Grieving the Living
Singularity and Betrayal
The Ambiguity of Loneliness
Survival
Monuments
Afterword
Notes
Index

About the Author

Diane Enns is associate professor of philosophy at McMaster University. She is the author of The Violence of Victimhood (2012) and Speaking of Freedom: Philosophy, Politics, and the Struggle for Liberation (2007) and the coeditor of Thinking About Love: Essays in Contemporary Continental Philosophy (2015).