Dissolving the I in the We: Love and the Problem of Community

I’m giving a lecture at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, NY called “Dissolving the I in the We: Love and the Problem of Community.” This lecture is a part of the annual St. Thomas More lecture series in ethics. I plan to address the theme of community and look more specifically at the function and role of radical love in today’s political environment.

Here’s the description, and I’ll post the paper soon to the Talks page.

In our world of hyper connection and constant digital communication, increasing numbers of people experience feelings of isolation and suffer from different forms of psychic misery. We face urgent social and political problems, from intensifying class inequalities, growing xenophobia and racism, to the rise of neo-fascism. In this lecture, we aim to understand these problems as driven, at least in part, as a failure of forming community that is able to adequately overcome social alienation. Political and social philosophers from Rousseau to Marcuse have theorized community, not as an identity affirming activity, but as an encounter that dissolves I in the We—an event that requires the invention of new forms of civic and public love. This talk will discuss what the philosophy of community can teach us about addressing some of the most pressing challenges we face today.

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