Love Voltaire Us Apart: A Philosopher’s Guide to Relationships
We seek (or get) advice on love from several sources, such as our friends, co-workers, family, fortune tellers. What about philosophers? No, these people are really focused on deep universal themes and probably don’t have time or desire to dispense advice on romantic matters. But what if they would? This book imagines their advice and presents it with sass and humor, employing all methods of communication: from the traditional (letters, quotes, and advice from “Dear Ann”-type columns) to contemporary (text, e-mail, and IM). There is even a whimsical quiz (like those found in popular magazines) to determine the type of philosopher that is right for you.
The book is divided into three main parts that mimic the stages of love. These are “Falling in Love,” “Staying in Love,” and “Breaking Up.” Each part has a couple of “chapters,” and each chapter is further divided into smaller (a couple of pages) sections – making the book readable even if you have only a few minutes. Apart from the main sections, there is a glossary of terms (defining terms as you think they are defined, and as they really are defined), and a timeline of failed relationships (starting at 520 BC with Confucius and ending at 2016 with Searle).
Readers who do not have a background in philosophy are unlikely to get the philosophy references (jokes) and hence may not appreciate the humor. In addition, the philosophers are not likely to give the advice that this book imagines they would. The humor in the book is likely to make one smile rather than laugh out loud. Recommended as a light read for those who have a background in philosophy.
Julia Edelman • Hallie Bateman, Illustrator