- Alain de Botton The Course

II. The Course of Love

by Alain de Botton

April, 2020

My book club reads this "novel" by Alain de Botton where he, more or less, philosophically explores how mature responsibilities and "love" between couples develop. How we usually are caught by a traditional romantic view of love. And how at the beginning of a close relationship, we just can't know how to deal with affection and attachments, more than the experiences we had learned from our parents, past friends, culture and some DNA stuff. Obviously, all of our needs cannot be met by a single other person or partner, but we still have to manage our needs. And we still have our liabilities.

Complicated...., :-) but an obvious conclusion by Alain de Botton, is that we actually and paradoxily, are ready to enter into a deep relationship only when we got the experience - and that's often too late. But, philosophically speaking according to David Hume, we still have to act as if we know what we are doing, as if we have something to believe in, even if we actually don't. We try to be "true to our feelings", to our intuitions, be logical and trying to be wise; and we are reasoning, arguing and guessing, but only as well as we can, or should. But, we still lack real knowledge. And for the most part, that's just good enough. But not always....

This novel, is as a kind of follow-up from his former novel "Essays in Love", but I think that this one is more "formal" and I miss a bit of that youthful and playful naïve text that was in the former. This book is more logical, reasoning, static, "paragraphic" and conclusive, but it is an interesting read.