Kierkegaard on Love Workshop

November 4, 2021 - November 5, 2021
The Human Flourishing Program, Harvard University

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United States


University of Hertfordshire


Harvard University

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Day 1 November 4, 2021, Thursday [Boston Time]

  • 1 Barry Stocker Istanbul Technical University, Turkey 7:00 - 8:00
  • 2 Marlene Prosdocimo University of Bologna, Italy 8:00 - 9:00

Break 30 mins

  • 3 Melissa Fox-Muraton ESC Clermont, France 9:30-10:30
  • 4 Carlota  Salvador Megias Univeristy of Bergen, Norway 10:30 - 11:30 

Break 30 mins

  • 5 Todd DeRose Ohio State University, USA 12:00-13:00
  • 6 Jeffrey Hanson Harvard University, USA 13:00-14:00          

Day 2 -November 5, 2021, Friday

  • 1 Jonas  Hodel Tuebingen, Germany 10:00-11:00
  • 2 Siobhan  Marie Doyle Ireland 11:00-12:00 

Break 30 mins

  • 3 Daniel Watts & Robert  Stern Univeristy of Essex, UK 12:30-13:30 
  • 4 Sarah Horton Boston College, USA 13:30-14:30

Break 30 mins

  • 5 Rick Furtak Colorado College, USA 15:00-16:00
  • 6 John  Lippitt University of Notre Dame in Australia, Australia 16:00-17:30

You are cordially invited to submit an abstract to the first instalment of the “Kierkegaard and Love Workshop” hosted byThe Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University on November 4-5, 2021. The Human Flourishing Program is an interdisciplinary research center within the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. The Program considers a number of important topics relevant to human flourishing, which include family, friendship, virtue, community, work, love, beauty, forgiveness, religion, purpose, and meaning. The Program brings together knowledge across disciplines and integrates such knowledge into a coherent whole, with the goal of a better understanding of and capacity to promote human well-being. 

The subject of love is central to the Program’s research on well-being and flourishing. It is part of “The Construct and Assessment of Love” grant funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Our hope with the “Kierkegaard and Love Workshop” is to explore Kierkegaard’s rich insights on themes concerning love in his thought and beyond. We are especially interested in receiving submissions that explore the unitive and contributory aspects of love. When we speak of the unitive aspect of love we have in mind that dimension of love that seeks unity of some kind with the beloved. When we speak of the contributory aspect of love we have in mind that dimension of love that seeks to contribute to the good of the beloved in some way and for the beloved’s own sake.

Potential questions addressed in presentations could include (but are not limited to):

·      How do the unitive and contributory aspects of love interrelate in Kierkegaard’s thought?

·      How does love unite people in different kinds of relationship (friendship, neighborliness, spouse/partner relations, etc.)?

·      How does love contribute to the good of others?

·      How does love inform, influence, and structure human relationships?

·      What are the limits of Kierkegaard’s distinction between romantic love and neighbor love?

·      How does love of God relate to love of neighbor and/or romantic love?

·      What is the relation between love and virtues/character/selfhood?

·      What are the respective goods in different forms of relationship brought about by love (friendship, neighborliness, spouse/partner relations, religious/divine)?

·      Does Kierkegaard make a distinctive contribution to our understanding of friendship/marriage/neighborliness?

·      To what extent can love be measured/quantified?

·      How is love important for human flourishing/well-being?

Dates and Formats:

The “Kierkegaard and Love Workshop” will have two instalments. The first instalment of the workshop will take place in online format on November 4-5, 2021. The second installment of the workshop will take place in Spring of 2022. We hope to host it in person at Harvard University, in Cambridge, USA.

Keynote Addresses:

John Lippittis Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Ethics & Society at the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Jeffrey Hansonis Senior Philosopher at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University.

Submission guidelines and technicalities:

·      Anonymized 500-word extended abstracts that detail (1) the main question of the paper (2) its possible contribution to the scholarly literature on the subject, and (3) some key elements of the argument.

·      The deadline for submissions is 1 September 2021; abstracts are to be sent [email protected].

·      Notification of acceptance by 5 September 2021.

·      Accepted papers will be allocated a 30-minute slot for the presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A session.

Conference web-page:

Pending grant approval, we wish to feature selected presentations from the workshop in a collection of essays or a special issue published in an academic journal.


Jeffrey Hanson, The Human Flourishing Program, Harvard University

Wojciech Kaftanski, The Human Flourishing Program, Harvard University

Contact Person

Wojciech Kaftanski: [email protected]

The Human Flourishing Program, Harvard University

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