Sunday, August 27, 2017

What is it

In most if not all modern Western societies, monogamy is the dominant form of romantic relationship. In polyamorous or "open" relationships, however, each person is free to love multiple partners at once. Just as our friendships are non-exclusive, advocates of polyamory believe our romantic relationship should be too. So why do so many people find polyamory distasteful, or even despicable? Is it immoral to love more than one person at a time? Or is our society's commitment to monogamy simply a fossil of tradition that could one day be obsolete? The Philosophers welcome back Carrie Jenkins from the University of British Columbia, author of What Love Is: And What It Could Be.

Comments (8)

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 -- 3:26 PM


So, where does this come from? I understand monogamy; polyandry; polygamy and queerness. Polyamory sounds like, what's the word? Libertine (-ness) ? Not very convincing. We used to say people were promiscuous if they were of that persuasion. Is this the new defense of that animalistic behavior? Sorry. I don't get it... I have a writers group meeting to enjoy now...

Laura Maguire's picture

Laura Maguire

Monday, August 14, 2017 -- 9:38 AM

Tune in to the show and see

Tune in to the show and see if you change your mind!

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Friday, August 18, 2017 -- 8:01 AM


Hi, Laura!
I was trying to log in to comment on the upcoming anarchy show (first aired in 2015, while I was incommunicado). Could not get in, so tried this avenue instead. Hope my comment gets posted, here goes: In this late dispensation of the human epoch, it seems to me that the anarchy thing has been tried, either intentionally or unintentionally, and found wanting. I know--- this is excruciatingly old-fashioned. But let's look at my assertion, historically and logically (if such is possible in our rationalistic world). Before there was government, there was anarchy. Fast forward to the emergence of religion and there was still repression and murder, but some semblance of order and even civilization was arising from the mire of human cruelty. Argue if you will for or against religious influence, it began to exert a level (forced) of humanity, theretofore unknown. Complexity began to rear its' ugly head, and, even with the reservations of the Church, science and technology emerged and began to further improve the human condition. Now, let's say that anarchy had ruled from pre-religious and pre-scientific times until now. Where do we suppose we would be? Certainly not on the moon; and, probably not even in outer space. Maybe not even here. And that is succinctly my point. If we have no form of governance, we have little impetus towards self-restraint.

Laura Maguire's picture

Laura Maguire

Friday, August 18, 2017 -- 9:19 AM

Hi Harold,

Hi Harold,

There does indeed seem to be a problem with comments on that page. Someone is looking into it right now, so hopefully we'll get it fixed soon. Thanks for letting us know!


Laura Maguire's picture

Laura Maguire

Friday, August 18, 2017 -- 10:27 AM

It's fixed now!

It's fixed now!

Loren Herrigstad's picture

Loren Herrigstad

Friday, September 1, 2017 -- 11:45 PM

Ian Shoales has it right

I always enjoy Ian Shoales' wrap-ups to the program. But this time, he had it right. After exploring so many complicated angles on human relationships, perhaps "bitter solitude" is in fact preferable.

Having once subscribed to the idea of soulmates, eventually settling for someone who was madly interested in me (for a moment, anyway), settling into marriage with that person only to be divorced by her four years later, followed by a rebound relationship, and a decade of solitude since — only at middle age do I now find myself coming to the conclusion that the urge toward romantic or intimate relationships in general seems to be driven by the biological imperative to reproduce. Once a person ages beyond that, at least I just wind up shaking my head, wondering what the whole thing or big deal was about in the first place — the having to possess a person, reveal ourselves to them, merge with them, always have them at home for us.

Country singer Naomi Judd once noted in a radio interview that, "Solitude is creativity's best friend." It is only in solitude that I've discovered I can write fiction, and that independently publishing it will become my next and very unexpected vocation. If I was still married, who knows what drudge job I might still be stuck in to pay the bills and satisfy the spouse. Besides, I now seem to be able to craft more satisfying relationships in fiction than I've been able to experience in the real world. The only thing missing is physical companionship or satisfaction. But as with so many other things, age is causing that to fade, too . . . and I no longer mind.

Ken Taylor's picture

Ken Taylor

Sunday, September 3, 2017 -- 11:58 AM

Solitude -- great idea

Loren Herrigsted:

I think we ought to do a show on solitude. I think it is an under appreciated thing -- especially in the age of constant connection and shallow Facebook friends.

What do you think? Wouldn't that be an interesting topic for an episode?

Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 -- 10:00 AM

follow-up comment for Ken

I second your remark concerning a show on solitude. It appears that few people know (or care) what that means. It also seems to me that privacy evokes little interest as an alternative to being constantly connected.


Carrie Jenkins, Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia


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