Some more starting points (these from goodreads.com, with the ones readers were more attracted to listed first)...
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
“One rarely falls in love without being as much attracted to what is interestingly wrong with someone as what is objectively healthy.”
― Alain de Botton
"Westcliff had learned that the mysteries of attraction could not always be explained through logic. Sometimes the fractures in two separate souls became the very hinges that held them together.”
― Lisa Kleypas, Devil in Winter
“There was a tinge of evil to it, a lot of sex, but under that was a
little boy peeking out, an uncertain little boy. That was it. That was the attraction. Nothing is more appealing than a handsome man who is also uncertain of himself.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Guilty Pleasures
“All war will end when women cease to find men in uniforms attractive - discuss.”
― Bill Drummond, $20,000
“It’s the unknown that draws people.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly
Why shouldn't attraction be a central philosophical concept? Didn't Newton revolutionize our understanding of the universe by positing gravity as the force every body exerts on every other body? By doing so, he put each of us at the center of a world view.
And also at the periphery: every other body is influencing our own. The trajectory defined by opposing forces is easily computable when one is the Sun, but the dance of human attraction confounds us with its unstable balance. Can we "resist" attraction or only counterbalance it with other attractions? How do we come to know "what" attracts us? When we think we have knowledge of what in ourselves others are attracted to, what responsibility does that entail, if any? Is there an interpersonal analogue to the physical phenomenon known as "orbit"?
A tantalizing, yet difficult, theme. Who wouldn't spend an evening on it, even if it yielded only a shred of illumination?
The format we used successfully last time, of a series of distinct, shorter discussions with individual focal points, seems especially appropriate for this theme. Your focal point, which you should identify beforehand, could be any of the following:
- a quote, originated by you or by someone famous
- a small object, perhaps beautiful or curious
- a question, for which you have some answer
- a Top Ten List title
- an under-a-minute story from a book, film, or personal life
- an invented obstacle or constraint, such as plays a part in most games (to be combined with one of the above)
Please give some thought to how your focal point will serve to generate an inclusive discussion, one that stays tethered but doesn't land quickly. Feel free to run it by me via email. There won't be time for every one to supply a focal point, but it's stimulating practice to think of one.
See you Tuesday, February 12!