‘Defend love as a real, risky adventure’ –
– philosopher Alain Badiou on modern romance
For the French philosopher Alain Badiou, romantic love is ‘the most powerful way known to humanity to have an intimate relationship with another’.
Love, he believes, creates a state of dependence that is an important counterweight to modernity’s emphasis on individuality. In this short film from the UK director William Williamson, Badiou argues that today’s approach to relationships, with its consumerist tendency to focus on choice and compatibility, and the ingrained refrain to move on when things aren’t easy, means that we need a philosophical reckoning with how we think about love. To make his point very specific, Badiou points to the ever-growing prevalence of online dating services that claim to offer algorithmic matching of partners, a way of seeking love that, he thinks, drains love of one of its most vital qualities – chance.