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The Medicalization of Love: A Talk by Brian D. Earp (Yale)

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Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square

London

WC1R 4RL

United Kingdom

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Love drugs are no longer speculations of science-fiction writers. They are already with us. What are the ethical implications of this?

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Is there a pill for love? What about an "anti-love drug", to help us get over an ex? In this talk, Yale bioethicist and co-author of Love is the Drug: The Chemical Future of our Relationships will argue that certain psychoactive substances, including MDMA - the active ingredient in Ecstasy - may help ordinary couples work through relationship difficulties and strengthen their connection. Others may help sever an emotional connection during a breakup. These substances already exist, and they have transformative implications for how we think about love. Earp will build a case for conducting research into "love drugs" and "anti-love drugs" and explores their ethical implications for individuals and society.

The idea of drugs that intervene in our love lives may sound like a really bad one, the kind of sinister-sounding idea that is likely to generate an instinctive sense of horror or despair in anticipation of yet another aspect of our lives coming under the medical gaze, of new love-related mental disorders being manufactured by drug companies and added to the catalogue of disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), of a virulent form of bio-reductionism that reduces the complexities of love to neuronal firings in a particular part of the brain, and so on. Come along and find out if these fears for the future of our relationships are warranted!

The horse has bolted. Where it runs is up to us. Earp will arm us with the latest scientific knowledge and a set of ethical tools that we can use to decide if these sorts of medications should be a part of our society. Or whether a chemical romance will be right for us.

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. His recent book Love is the Drug (published by Manchester University Press) has been praised by Peter Singer as "a fascinating account of a future that is starting to unfold right now."

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Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square

London

WC1R 4RL

United Kingdom

View Map

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Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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