What Love Is by Carrie Jenkins (101)

So many of us are always wondering about what love is. It is a true philosophical question in its own right. Love is one of those mystical things that can be very hard to explain. But when we are in love, we know it. And when we see love, we know it too. But describing it is quite another matter.

Love, we are told, can be felt but not defined according to Carrie Jenkins. No wonder so many of us fall back on the advice of long ago that love is something we shouldn’t overthink.

Though trying to understand love feels like an insurmountable task, the reality is that we urgently need to think more about it. Love is of immense importance and many of us frame our whole lives around it. Tidy definitions of love describing it as just chemicals or just a construct are unsatisfactory.

As a philosopher, Carrie Jenkins reveals that love is both a physical phenomenon preserved throughout evolution – which explains the palpitations, butterflies, and adrenaline rushes – and a constantly changing social convention. In an era in which interracial, queer, and not poly-amorous love are becoming more normal, our ideas of love may not match our parents’ ideas, even if our bodies’ experience of love remain similar.

Carrie Jenkins draws on a whole bunch of cultural, scientific and personal reflections to make this book hard to put down if you are interested in love. Jenkins frees us to see love as layered. It is as political as it is physical and as emotional as it is intellectual and chemical.

I love this book from start to finish. I will definitely re-read it later on and place it on my shelf of philosophical books.

I can appreciate her penetrating probing of the concepts of love because I too am a philosopher who is quite interested in the topic of love.

Thank you Professor Jenkins for such an insightful book!

Rating: 5 stars

Irene Roth


About irenesroth

I am a freelance and academic writer. I am currently writing a book called `Fearless Freelance Writers`. Please look out for it soon on this blog.
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