New Philosopher

Love and death

“What will survive of us is love.” As I circle the theme of ‘life’ in my mind, I keep returning to a variation on this line from the poet Philip Larkin: love is what allows us to survive.

Speculation about humanity’s deep past often ends in just-so stories, but we can be sure of one thing at least: we are unique among our close animal relatives in the prolonged vulnerability of our children. And it is our capacity, at whatever cost, to bring these vulnerable children into adulthood that guarantees our survival.

This is no mean feat. Human babies are born in a state of almost absolute helplessness, and remain unable

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