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The Philosophy of Love: Track 1

The nature of royal weddings as very public declarations of love can cause us to reflect on love and partnership – and on 29th April 2011 when Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot, the royal couple took a vow that declared a commitment to love and cherish ‘til death do us part’. But what is ‘love’? What is it that makes us fall in love with someone and can we put a meaning on it? We’ve all experienced love, whether it is a friend, partner, family member, or a pet – but these are all very different kinds of love. So how do we define love when it encompasses such a variety of emotions? Carolyn Price, senior lecturer in Philosophy, and Timothy Chappell, director of the Ethics Centre, at The Open University, discuss the nature of love, from love as a function, to ‘the Doppelganger problem’ – should we also love another person with the same traits and qualities as the person we already love? Finally, the notion of love as a duty within marriage is explored.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 25 mins
  • Updated Thursday 21st April 2011
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Philosophy
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Track 1: Can love be rational?

Carolyn Price and Tim Chappell look at rationality and love.


© The Open University 2011


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Can love be rational?    Carolyn Price and Tim Chappell look at rationality and love. Play now Can love be rational?
2 What is love?    What are the reasons we love one person rather than another, and can love be unjustified? Play now What is love?
3 The Doppelganger Problem    Applying 'The Doppelganger Problem' to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Play now The Doppelganger Problem
4 Love and relationships: a function or an illusion    Is love just an emotion, or is there more to it? Play now Love and relationships: a function or an illusion
5 Love as a duty    Can there be a duty to love, and how can you promise you will love your partner for the rest of your life? Play now Love as a duty