Love and Politics
Persistent Human Desires as a Foundation for Liberation
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In, Love and Politics Jeffery L. Nicholas argues that Eros is the final rejection of an alienated life, in which humans are prevented from developing their human powers; Eros, in contrast, is an overflowing of acting into new realities and new beauties, a world in which human beings extend their powers and senses.
Nicholas uniquely interprets Alasdair MacIntyre’s Revolutionary Aristotelianism as a response to alienation defined as the divorce of fact from value. However, this account cannot address alienation in the form of the oppression of women or people of color. Importantly, it fails to acknowledge the domination of nature that blackens the heart of alienated life. Alienation must be seen as a separation of the human from nature. Nicholas turns to Aristotle, first, to uncover the way his philosophy embodies a divorce of human from nature, then to reconstruct the essential elements of Aristotle’s metaphysics to defend a philosophical anthropology based on Eros.
Love and Politics: Persistent Human Desires as a Foundation for Liberation presents a critical theory that synthesizes MacIntyre’s Revolutionary Aristotelianism, Frankfurt School Critical Theory, and Social Reproduction Theory. It will be of great interest to political theorists and philosophers.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Alienation and Revolutionary Aristotelianism
1. Marx’s Theory of Alienation
2. MacIntyre’s Interpretation of Alienation
3. Revolutionary Aristotelianism
Part 2: Lacunae
4. Human Nature, Reason, and Love
5. Fishing, Social Reproduction, and Nature
6. Birth and Obstetric Practice in the United States
Part 3: Eros and Human Nature
7. Toward a Metaphysical Biology
8. Erotic Nature
9. Eros and the Varieties of Love
Part 4: Epilogue
10. Erotic Practices; Erotic Communities
Jeffery L Nicholas is an associate professor at Providence College and author of Reason, Tradition, and the Good: MacIntyre’s Tradition Constituted Reason and Frankfurt School Critical Theory. He also holds appointments as a foreign research associate with the Center for Contemporary Aristotelian Studies in Ethics and Politics at London Metropolitan University and with the Center for Aristotelian Studies and Critical Theory at Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius, Lithuania.
"Love and Politics is a timely book that examines the possibility of overcoming alienation in its many forms. One of the most important features of the book is the role that it gives human desire (Eros/love) in the struggle to overcome alienation. Human beings are not just isolated desiring individuals. We naturally desire community. This book examines the impediments to and possibility of human community."
Arnold L. Farr, Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky
"Recently interest has grown as has discussion concerning the relation of MacIntyre and Marx, much of it inconclusive …until now. Jeffery Nicholas provides the key to understanding the integration of MacIntyre and Marx in the analysis of alienation. This important book marks a breakthrough in MacIntyre studies."
Bruce Ballard, Professor of Philosophy, Lincoln University
"Jeffery Nicholas finds in social reproduction theory the necessary conceptual tools to critically retrieve Revolutionary Aristotelianism, as developed by Alasdair MacIntyre for a Marxist ethics. In accounting for the imperial-patriarchal domination of bodies and nature in class society, social reproduction theory, argues Nicholas, posits rich concepts of alienation and liberation. It directs us to explore a path to freedom that considers not just how humans can and should produce their worlds in common with each other, but crucially, how they might do so in ways that respect the integrity, powers and vulnerability of labouring bodies and the natural world. This is a timely, deep and stimulating read for anyone committed to placing anti-oppression politics at the heart of building a better, more just and ethical socialist world."
Sue Ferguson, Associate Professor Emerita, Wilfrid Laurier University