For the Love of Carrie

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Her personal approach also humanizes her argument because it gives readers concrete examples about the aggressions, judgments, and discriminations to which she has been subjected An exceptionally clear and easily readable account of the current research into romantic love and ideas for how we might think differently about it. Jenkins writes simply and engagingly about a subject on all our minds. Equally important to its subject matter, the book is a master class in how to think and why.

Jenkins researches, questions, unpacks, considers, and examines It uses the almost cliched question what love is to draw the reader into a fascinating multidisciplinary exploration, drawing from science, history, philosophy, and politics. At moments it seemed like a revaluation of values, at other points it seemed like an open letter to society begging for understanding of various lifestyles. All in all, I didn't walk away with any new information, but the new packaging of information I had did put it in an interesting frame. Feb 05, Danielle rated it really liked it.

Well, it's close to Valentine's Day so, of course, it's release time for all the love books! This is one of the best ones I've read. I really enjoyed the exploration of love's biological and social aspects through the lens of philosophy and history. Much more 'brainy' than I expected.

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It amused me that it seems that the impetus for the writing of the book was the author's polyamorous relationship status and how it made her feel to not fit society's mold of what defines romantic love. Her Well, it's close to Valentine's Day so, of course, it's release time for all the love books! Her response is to use her education and mind to disprove and improve upon the current thinking about love. She makes thoroughly impressive arguments and backs them all up with evidence and solid reasoning as to why our definition of romantic love is, and always has been, so very lacking.

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Apr 22, Amanda rated it it was amazing Shelves: essays , poly. Since autumn , I have been reading this book aloud to my husband every weekend while he makes breakfast. It has engendered much discussion. We are in an open relationship and have been since I appreciated the way the author took philosophical, scientific, and social beliefs about romantic love, demystified and analyzed them in a methodical and entertaining way. In the end, the author advises that people choose Since autumn , I have been reading this book aloud to my husband every weekend while he makes breakfast.

In the end, the author advises that people choose the types of relationships they want, rather than letting society and long-held beliefs about what love is supposed to be force them into a type of relationship they don't want or aren't suited for. Education is always better than ignorance.

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Oct 13, Kaila rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction , i-own-this , , relationships. Doesn't take any risks, and is milquetoast because of it. You'd probably only read this if you were liberal, but most of the information presented here is stuff liberals already agree with.

Not heavy enough to be philosophy, not preachy enough to be self-help, not about relationships much at all. What we're left with is I had to force myself to finish it. Jul 21, Matthew Hernandez rated it liked it Shelves: philosophy. After skimming various reviews on Amazon. People with at least some background in academic philosophy take it as being too simple, with very little argumentation toward a fairly obvious thesis and failing to interact with enough of the surrounding literature on the topic.

But taking it as solely one or the other is a mistake: it is best understood as a mixture of the two. The strongest chapters of this book include these two on the biology of love and the social construction of love. Viewing this book as a kind of introduction to philosophy what sorts of questions philosophers are interested in asking and how they go about answering them , it is quire successful in its early chapters. Despite them having masterfully sequential prose, I found myself wondering what the overarching point of the chapter was, or if this is merely where some leftover—but important—ideas found themselves strung along.

However, throughout her discussion of love, it is very hard to tell when she is talking descriptively what love is and normatively what love should be. She often gives normative style refutations of what appear to be descriptive answers to the question of what love is i. This argumentative move alone is not a bad thing specifically because we take love to be a good thing!


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But it seems that she should be more clear in stating that some normative concerns will play into our descriptive project, perhaps it—like the biological and social aspects of love—is not a dichotomy but a blend. Perhaps what love could or should be is part of what love is. This ultimately seems like her conclusion, but she takes a quite roundabout way to get there.


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But some digressions like the wholly true one about how problematic the culture of academic philosophy is seem to serve as more commentary for those already in the academic community than getting the general population into a particular method of asking and thinking. Her philosophical contribution is in weaker form, but, at the end of the day, Jenkins has mostly accomplished her goal of giving the reader a jumping off point to think about love for oneself, even if she took you on a few odd detours along the way.

Mar 10, Howl Cockburn rated it it was ok.

This book was tl;dr. Sort of like a blog post that spiralled out of control. For example, love is closely liked with attachment theory 1. I'm not sure who the target audience is for this book but it's not the average consumer. This feels like it's written for academics but I don't think academics would enjoy it.

So people reading it can relate and be like, wow. That's exactly what my relationship was like. Or, damn. As for "non-monogamous relationships and queer activism". The opposition to non-monogamous can be summed up in two sentences. Monogamy sells. Traditional people like their traditions. That's all there is too it. I think this is the main worthwhile though in the book: "I think we are capable of striking the necessary balance: changing what needs to change without destroying romantic love entirely.

Here's how. Romantic love, at the social level, could have the function of taking as input attraction and affection between adults not necessarily a particular number or of particular genders and outputting intimate bonds and relationships the are special and significant in people's lives.

Optional Add-ons can then include sex, kids, home building, family building, agreeing not to enter into other relationships, caring for a dog together, writing love poems These optional extras would work like a buffet: people would be free to decide what features they wanted in their own relationships without facing stigma for what they did or didn't choose.

Social Psychology.

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Yet this is it. Are there gaps in this book? Of course! The author, an academic, speaks to the unavoidablility of them in a work made for the general public The reviews criticizing it for failing to be such are missing the point; Jenkins is reaching out to non-academics. In fact, she performs better intellectual work than many publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals.


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  5. This is a work that could be game-changing if taken up in public discourse. I intend to read it again. I hope to purchase a few copies for friends I know would be very interested. I loved this book. Yeah, grammar crap there from me! She asks questions that are relevant to anyone who seeks romantic love, believes themself to be in romantic love, has thought about love beyond Hallmark card sentimentality. Mar 11, Janelle Samuel rated it really liked it.

    Instead, she poses questions related to the nature of romantic love; what is it, what drives it, and what should we do when we have it? Jenkins is unafraid to look at love on an analytical level.

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    She does not believe the nonsense that being skeptical about it will cause its dissolution. This is why I loved this book.