- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN: 978-1-5261-4541-3
- Pages: 280
- Publisher: Manchester University Press
- Price: £20.00
- Published Date: January 2020
- BIC Category: SCIENCE / Philosophy & Social Aspects, MEDICAL / Alternative & Complementary Medicine, MEDICAL / Ethics, SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology, Human Biology, Neurosciences, Philosophy Of Science, Bio-Ethics, Popular Science
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.'
'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.'
'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.'
'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.'
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
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