“Marry or don't marry, you will regret it either way,” Soren Kierkegaard once wrote pseudonymously. Was he right? Why do people marry? Should they? In marriage, people promise ‘till death do them part, but can marriage make love stay? Or is it actually the fastest way to cure lovers? Is marriage a good way to organize families, or is it a tool of the patriarchy that keeps men and women in gendered roles and best left shelved in history books? Is it, as Mary Wollstonecraft proposed, mostly just legal prostitution?
In this Olio on the philosophy of marriage, we will discuss its history, consider why it persists (even though its economic justifications such as maintaining wealth and creating power alliances are largely redundant), why it so often fails to live up to expectations, and the philosophical factors in choosing to marry—or not.
Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.