1A2: Daring to love? Addressing the complexity of a loving relationship: Eros, Philia and Agape

1st Year, Semester A, 2nd Module (1A2)        

Summary:  Man’s end, “that for which he exists”: how the thinkers at the origins of our culture tried to respond.

Aristotle developed an ethic of happiness: man was made to be happy!  Happiness for him was the exercise of what is deepest and most spiritual in him.  What is the sense of man’s life? Through an analysis of the great human experience of love, discovery of what man is made for.

Various themes to be looked at:

– Greek Philosophy:

  • Happiness, love and the soul

– Philosophy of Ethics: of friendship, of happiness

  • The multi-faceted human experience of love and friendship
  • Love and intelligence: the virtue of prudence
  • Love, freedom and personal gift of self: education in virtue
  • What are the virtues and how does one acquire them?
  • Education: helping to be successful, teaching to be responsible and fair
  • Cornerstone of society: the family where love is at the centre


Plato, Lysis, The Symposium, Phaedrus: chosen segments to help us think of happiness, feelings, looking at experience; Greek philosophy is all about experience whilst modern philosophy is about ideas

Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics: analysis of experience

Fr MDP, Retracing Reality: Analysis of experience