Philosophy Club Meeting

February 15, 2022
Submitted By: Brian D. Skelly

Please join us at our next online meeting of the University of Hartford Philosophy Club this Wednesday, Feb.16 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the following link:   

Note: If the link above is not functional, then cut and paste it into your search line or URL line and hit “enter”.    

Meeting Password: Alive CwqT3MBG33 Toll-free call-in number: 1-877-668-4493    

Meeting Number (in case calling in): 171 628 0135   

This week, Mila El Husseini, soon to be graduating Philosophy major at Central Connecticut State University, will present on the thoughts of psychotherapist Esther Perel on modern marriage and domestic partnership.

Esther Perel (born 1958) is a Belgian psychotherapist of Polish-Jewish background who has explored the tension between the need for security (love, belonging and closeness) and the need for freedom (erotic desire, adventure and distance) in human relationships.

Perel promoted the concept of "erotic intelligence" in her book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (2006), which has been translated into 24 languages. After publishing the book, she became an international advisor on sex and relationships. She gave a TED talk in February 2013 called "The secret to desire in a long-term relationship", and another in March 2015 called "Rethinking infidelity ... a talk for anyone who has ever loved."

Perel is the host of the podcast Where Should We Begin? which is based inside her therapist's office as she sees anonymous couples in search of insight into topics such as infidelity, sexlessness and grief. (Wikipedia entry.)

Perel addresses the issues of modern-day marriage and domestic partnerships, examining the paradoxes of changing societal structure and cultural norms related to marriage, analyzing shifts such as from marriage until the death of the body to marriage until the death of the love; from marriage as the beginning of sex to marriage as the end of sex; and from monogamy as one mate for life to monogamy as one mate at a time.

As cultural norms swiftly change goaded in part by technological advances that greatly multiply our options and stoke the imperative of convenience, a corresponding shift is occurring in our perspectives of virtue, morals, and the meaning of what is important in life, from “our fulfillment” to the fulfillment of each partner separately. Choice of romantic partner is no longer seen as one of the most important decisions in life, but as a matter of sheer luck, shifting the narrative of domestic partnership from love story to life story.


While discussing common themes throughout what Perel describes 'love stories' and 'life stories,' I will be wielding philosophical concepts of paradigm theory, to critically evaluate the most common relationship narratives of our times.


Mila El- Husseini is a first-generation Lebanese Muslim American. She works alongside her father in a Lebanese cuisine chain restaurant and food truck businesses. She sketches anatomy for fun as well as antique shopping and sitting alongside the shore of her  home on the beach in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Mila studies philosophy with a double minor in Middle Eastern and Religious studies. She aspires to continue her education with pursuing a Masters in Philosophy.  

An ongoing weekly tradition at the University since 2001, the University of Hartford Philosophy Club is a place where students, professors, and people from the community at large meet as peers. Sometimes presentations are given, followed by discussion. Other times, topics are hashed out by the whole group.     

Presenters may be students, professors, or people from the community. Anyone can offer to present a topic. The mode of presentation may be as formal or informal as the presenter chooses.    

Please be a part of us as we continue this great tradition live and online.   

Brian D. Skelly, Philosophy