TORCH Oxford Phenomenology Network is hosting a seminar with Mark Burgess (Oxford Brookes University, Dept. of Psychology) ‘‘Phenomenological Investigations of Romantic Love'
In the 1950s Maslow castigated psychologists for their failure to investigate a central aspect of life satisfactorily. That aspect of life was romantic love. Since then, certain psychologists have speculated about categories of love and have adapted methods from the natural sciences in order to ‘measure’ the antecedents and consequences of love. Despite the vast quantities of such positivist investigations, one of those leading contemporary love researchers, Ellen Berscheid (2010) stated that, “an understanding of love has yet to be achieved”. What is missing? Phenomenological research. There is very little psychological research that aims to provide a phenomenological description of the ‘thing itself’. In this talk, I will give a brief overview of some of the key psychological research on romantic love. I will argue that love would be more fully understood through an existentially informed lens in which the person in love is recognised as an individual that cannot be separated from the world in which they are immersed. This will lead into a discussion of phenomenological research interviews we have conducted with people who described such topics as their experiences of falling in love, communicating love, enacting cultural rituals of love, and experiences of break-up.
*Please note change of venue.