Love is the Drug

The Chemical Future of Our Relationships

By Brian D. Earp and Julian Savulescu

Love is the Drug
Hardcover -
  • Price: £20.00
  • ISBN: 9781526145413
  • Publish Date: Jan 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • Price: £20.00
  • ISBN: 9781526145567
  • Publish Date: Jan 2020
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4541-3
    • Pages: 280
    • Price: £20.00
    • Published Date: January 2020


    What if there were a pill for love? Or an anti-love drug, designed to help us break up?

    This controversial and timely new book argues that recent medical advances have brought chemical control of our romantic lives well within our grasp. Substances affecting love and relationships, whether prescribed by doctors or even illicitly administered, are not some far-off speculation - indeed our most intimate connections are already being influenced by pills we take for other purposes, such as antidepressants.

    Treatments involving certain psychoactive substances, including MDMA-the active ingredient in Ecstasy-might soon exist to encourage feelings of love and help ordinary couples work through relationship difficulties. Others may ease a breakup or soothe feelings of rejection. Such substances could have transformative implications for how we think about and experience love.

    This brilliant intervention into the debate builds a case for conducting further research into "love drugs" and "anti-love drugs" and explores their ethical implications for individuals and society. Rich in anecdotal evidence and case-studies, the book offers a highly readable insight into a cutting-edge field of medical research that could have profound effects on us all.

    Will relationships be the same in the future? Will we still marry? It may be up to you to decide whether you want a chemical romance.


    'In their new book, Love Is the Drug, Oxford ethicists Brian Earp and Julian Savulescu point out that this neglected aspect of love [The biochemical processes that lie behind it] is just as important as its social or psychological structures. . The book is at its most impressive when considering the moral, social and pragmatic issues concerned with scientific development.'
    The Observer

    'If a pill could make you fall deeper in love and transform your romantic relationships, would you take it? Or if a doctor was able to prescribe an anti-love drug to help a break-up go smoothly and avoid a potential lifetime of heartache, would you urge your partner to make an appointment? For Brian D. Earp and Julian Savulescu, who pose these questions in Love is the Drug, these aren't merely theoretical or philosophical matters . This gives Earp, a cognitive scientist, and Savulescu, a doctor turned philosopher, the scope to ask deliberately provocative questions to stoke the debate. It is time to imagine a world in which we can chemically alter feelings, they say.'
    New Scientist

    'A fascinating account of a future that is starting to unfold right now.'
    Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University

    'Game-changing. Many of the important ideas here could enrich-even save-lives around the world.'
    Helen Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray

    'Not until this intoxicating, astonishing, dangerous book have we had the deep chemistry of our eroticism revealed.'
    Clancy Martin, author of Love and Lies

    'Ranging from ancient aphrodisiacs to cutting-edge psychopharmacology, this lucid and accessible survey brings neuroscience into dialogue with psychology and philosophy.'
    Mike Jay, author of Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic

    'A compelling and provocative yet balanced and rigorously argued overview of the existing and emerging medical technologies that "act on the brain's lust, attraction, and attachment systems, whether to strengthen a good relationship or help a bad one to end." . A nuanced and sophisticated exploration of a rapidly advancing field of study. . There is an energy and passion in the writing here that sets it aside from 99% of the philosophy that I have read in the past year.'
    The Philosopher

    'A master class in applied bioethical reasoning.'
    John Danaher, author of Automation and Utopia

    'The recommendation is a guided meditation on MDMA in a clinical setting with a therapist there to facilitate, and not just the couple in the woods on MDMA. ... Fascinating ... I recommend the book highly.'
    Dan Savage

    With cogent arguments, vivid experimental detail, and engaging storytelling, the authors show that chemical interventions to foster, enhance, and diminish love will only become more sophisticated as scientists discern the biochemical nature of the romantic bond.'

    'Brian Earp's and Julian Savulescu's provocatively titled "Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships" is a philosophically rigorous, scientifically informed, and yet wholly accessible study of the science and ethics of "love drugs" (and "anti-love drugs"). It is a must read for anyone interested in either the nature and value of love or the ethics of biomedical enhancement. A major strength of the book is the seriousness with which Earp and Savulescu address the arguments of their opponents. Anyone who is initially skeptical of the claim that the use of (anti) love drugs can sometimes be the best overall option should prepare to be challenged. The same can be said for anyone initially drawn to the idea that the use of these drugs would be generally detrimental to society.'
    The American Journal of Bioethics


    1 Revolution
    2 Love's Dimensions
    3 Human Natures
    4 Little Heart-Shaped Pills
    5 Good Enough Marriages
    6 Ecstasy as Therapy
    7 Evolved Fragility
    8 Wonder Hormone
    9 Anti-love Drugs
    10 Chemical Breakups
    11 Avoiding Disaster
    12 Choosing Love
    Epilogue: Pharmacopeia
    About the Authors


    Brian D. Earp is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and the Hastings Center and a Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford

    Julian Savulescu holds the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics and is Director of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford

    Love is the Drug

    By Brian D. Earp, Julian Savulescu

    Hardcover £20.00 / $29.95

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