BLS 360: The Philosophy of Love and Friendship

In this course, we shall examine the nature of love and friendship. After a brief introduction to what philosophy is and the structure of an argument, we will ask questions such as: What does it mean to say you love chocolate? Is love of chocolate different from love for your mother? Must love come prior to marriage or are arranged marriages equally effective? Does a person need friends in order to achieve happiness? What are the minimal requirements of friendship? How do relationships impact who we become? Upon examining these philosophical questions, we will identify, define, and find examples of four types of love: storgephiliaeros, and agape. The outcome of this course should be a deeper understanding of the concepts of love and friendship, a familiarity with the breadth of potential relationships, and an ability to reflectively analyze our individual relationships.


  • Pakaluk, Michael, ed. Other Selves: Philosophers on Friendship. Hackett Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-87220-113-9
  • Baldwin, James. If Beale Street Could Talk. Dial Press, 1974. (any edition) ISSB 978-0307275936