Schopenhauer, Love and Compassion

October 17, 2013 - October 18, 2013
Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Ghent University

Ghent, Belgium

Keynote speakers:

Christopher Janaway
University of Southampton
Simon May
King's College London
Gudrun von Tevenar
Birbeck, University of London


University of Ghent

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International conference:

Schopenhauer, Love and Compassion

17th-18th October 2013                                                                                         

Ghent University, Belgium

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) offers a stunningly original and highly complex account of love. What we call romantic love, Schopenhauer sees as propelled by our sexual drives and interests, which are manifestations of the will-to-life of the human species. The real purpose of romantic love is ultimately biological: to produce and raise children. What we consciously think what is happening to us when we are in love, is illusory and ultimately irrelevant. Yet, although Schopenhauer undermines romantic love, and despite his critique of Christian faith, he also tells us that 'all love (agape, caritas) is compassion', and that compassion with all living beings is the very basis of morality. He argues that this kind of selfless love may ultimately lead to redemption and resignation, since it 'sees through' the deception of individuality.
The goal of this conference is to investigate the relation and tensions between these two distinct types of love (eros and agapè) in Schopenhauer's philosophy, and discuss its striking complexity and current relevance.

Hosted by: Prof. dr Bart Vandenabeele / GARG (Ghent Aesthetics Research Group)

Keynote speakers:

Christopher Janaway (University of Southampton)

Simon May (King's College London)

Gudrun von Tevenar (Birkbeck College, University of London)

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Supported by: Research Foundation -- Flanders

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September 30, 2013, 2:00pm CET

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