What is Erotic Philosophy?
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Western philosophy has historically valorized reason and absolute knowledge as the cornerstones of what it means to be human. While this is certainly true in many respects, there is a very real and strong thread throughout the philosophical tradition that philosophy was, as Epicurus insists, about healing the human soul. Knowledge then and its pursuit centers upon a way of life wherein initiates are invited to transform themselves, to be made beautiful, to identify with a practice of self-care or self-love. Erotic philosophy begins in such self-care and love and the following website and blog are about the metaphysical and ontological conditions for a way of life that emphasizes that the power (or true life) of the soul is its ability to bridge the gap between sickness and health, mortal and immortal, ugly and divine, impoverish and potent. The erotic is that which mediates the paradox of being human allowing us to see the divinity and beauty in what we often wish to excise from our own lives; the messy, the unknown, the anxiety, the fear and trembling of what it means to be. In this blog, I shall discuss all of these ideas as I teach two courses this semester: The Philosophy of Human Nature and Plato. Each day that I teach, I will write in this space so as to attempt to argue for a new but also very ancient way of being in the world, a way of life that we often dismiss as naive or unrealistic simply because we have made the true power of being human into something shameful, something to overcome, when in reality it is also our greatest resource. We are the both/and, a both/and that acts as a bridge from one to another, the site for honest interchange and true connection between disparate individuals/entities. Erotic philosophy found in thinkers like Plato and the Platonic tradition as well as amazing intersectional thinkers like Anzaldua, Lorde, Lugones, et al. is how we heal, how we learn to care for ourselves and others in such away that we can touch each other honestly, authentically in the present moment, a moment that shines or is saturated with the eternal power of what it means to accept and love the human condition in all its messy liveliness.