The Philosophy of Romance and Relationships
In this Andronicus Education workshop our head teacher, Stefan Samuel, will guide participants through the history of the self and how human relationships have been affected by it.
From the outside looking in, dating can be seen as a science fiction story. People’s unconscious biases and desires trigger them to perform in ways that are certainly worth questioning and analyzing. Dating is a performance and presentation of the self where the performers – those on the date – are presenting the self they believe will be best received by the person across from them. However, eventually this show must come to an often chaotic and destructive end because of its inauthenticity.
Part I : The Inauthenticity of Dating
This show happens all the time and should prompt us to ask ourselves: why does this show happen in the first place? Why can’t we be ourselves and avoid the pressure of a performance? A potential answer can be found in the many disconnects between how dating is portrayed in popular culture and how it is experienced in real life. We will explore why this disconnect exists and what it means for people dating, as well as the psychological and philosophical strategies people embody by exploring the roles power and performance.
Part II: Relationships in the Ghostland
For many of us, the successful completion of the dating game leads to a relationship. In the second half of the session, we will explore the features and complexities of actual relationships: from the distinct differences between the sexes to the interplay between our own narcissism and the tax that relationships ask of us. We will briefly touch upon the history of gender roles, marriage, and love in order to root our intuitive perceptions of what relationships ought to be and to understand the role they play in our personal and societal health.
Questions we’ll ask:
- Are relationships difficult? If so, why? Is the difficulty worth it?
- How has pop culture changed our ability to relate romantically?
- What is the role of misogyny (the hatred of women) in modern relationships?
- What distinguishes a philosophical healthy relationship from a toxic one?
- What principles should we adhere to in our relationships?
- Why are so many people depressed in their relationships?
- Why do people cheat?
- What kind of person is needed to build health in a relationship?
Thinkers we’ll read:
- Aristotle – a towering figure in ancient Greek philosophy, making contributions to logic, metaphysics, mathematics, physics, biology, botany, ethics, politics, agriculture, medicine, dance and theatre. He was a student of Plato who in turn studied under Socrates.
- William Shakespeare – William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.
- Jean-Jacque Rousseau – a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological, and educational thought.
- Friedrich Nietzsche – a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond.
- John Locke – a British philosopher, Oxford academic and medical researcher. Locke’s monumental An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) is one of the first great defenses of empiricism and concerns itself with determining the limits of human understanding in respect to a wide spectrum of topics.
- Alasdair MacIntyre – a Scottish philosopher primarily known for his contribution to moral and political philosophy but known also for his work in history of philosophy and theology.
- Charles Taylor – a Canadian philosopher from Montreal, Quebec best known for his contributions to political philosophy, the philosophy of social science, history of philosophy and intellectual history. This work has earned him the prestigious Kyoto Prize and the Templeton Prize, in addition to widespread esteem among philosophers.
- Michael Sandel – an American political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University. He is best known for the Harvard course “Justice”.
Registration for Courses
For Participants 18+
THREE FREE INTRODUCTORY SESSIONS: January 25th, February 1st, February 8th,
7:00pm-8:30pmThe Grammaticus Academy 7181 Yonge St. #184 Markham, ON, L3T 0C1
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
ONE DAY WORKSHOP: The Philosophy of Romance and Relationships
Limited to 13 students.
Sunday February 21st, 1:30-6 pm.
The Grammaticus Academy
7181 Yonge St. #184
Markham, ON, L3T 0C1
(2km from Finch Station)
Cost $80Questions? Email email@example.com ______
Have a friend register using your name as a referral and receive 20% off of your admission price!
“But, aside from learning the theory and practice, there is a third factor necessary to becoming a master in any art – the mastery of the art must be a matter of ultimate concern; there must be nothing else in the world more important than the art. This holds true for music, for medicine, for carpentry – and for love. And, maybe, here lies the answer to the question of why people in our culture try so rarely to learn this art, in spite of their obvious failures: in spite of the deep-seated craving for love, almost everything else is considered to be more important than love: success, prestige, money, power – almost all our energy is used for the learning of how to achieve these aims, and almost none to learn the art of loving.“
Erich Fromm, “The Art of Loving