Arthur C. Danto remarks, “How incorrigibly stiff philosophy is when it undertakes to lay its icy fingers on the frilled and beating wings of the butterfly of love.” There is something both true and false in this remark. The philosopher cannot, as the poet can, convey the particularities of a love lived, suffered and enjoyed, but romantic love and friendship are an aspect of our practical moral lives and in this respect a proper object of philosophical concern. This course brings together some of the most lively and passionate writings by philosophers on the topic of romantic love and friendship. Students will consider various definitions and descriptions of love and friendship from Plato to Freud. Students will examine the connection between morality and love and between love and the political, reading the writings of philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kant, Marcuse and De Beauvoir.