In Praise Of Love Book Summary - In Praise Of Love Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

In Praise Of Love summary

Alain Badiou

An Ode to Romance, Relationships, and Sex

4.3 (260 ratings)
21 mins
Table of Contents

    In Praise Of Love
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Dating-app culture is threatening love by eliminating much of the risk.

    This story begins a few years ago when the author, Badiou, was strolling through the streets of Paris. He noticed posters advertising a French dating site called Meetic, and was immediately troubled by the messaging. The poster’s slogans promised things like “find love without chance” and “perfect love without suffering.”

    Now, Meetic is one of these dating sites that asks you a bunch of questions, and then uses algorithms to match you up with people who meet your requirements. The idea is that you avoid a lot of wasted time and heartache by only going on dates with people you’re compatible with. If you can ensure your date has the right body, the right job, and the right values in advance, then there’d be a much greater chance of finding love, without the risk of disappointment. 

    In effect, Meetic was suggesting it could eliminate a lot of the riskiness involved in dating. The problem is, for Badiou, love without risk is no love at all. Love is an inherently risky endeavor. For him, the fact that dating apps are helping people eliminate risk from their love life should serve as a dire warning for the dismal state of love today. 

    The key message here is: Dating-app culture is threatening love by eliminating much of the risk.

    When a dating app removes uncertainty by matching you with people who fit your exact desires, what kind of people do you think you’re going to meet?

    You’re probably going to meet people who are just like you – people who have the same tastes, the same background, the same politics, the same ambitions in life.

    But where’s the challenge here? Where are the elements of surprise, of newness, of adventure into the unknown? They’re nowhere to be seen. You might find someone with the same Netflix algorithm, or someone who also loves matcha chai lattes, but that isn’t love. At best, such a dating app sets the stage for a stable relationship – but not a passionate encounter.

    What these dating apps promote is more akin to an arranged marriage than true love. In an arranged marriage, there’s no risk involved either, because your parents have vetted your partner in advance to make sure they belong to the same community, class, or religion as you. The only real difference is that nowadays we outsource our romantic decisions to algorithms rather than matchmakers.

    Risk-free love is really a sterilized idea of love that’s all about servicing your desires. True love, on the other hand, is risky because it has the potential to completely change your life by throwing you into contact with people who are very different to you, and who will shake up your entire perspective on life.

    By eliminating risk, dating apps close us off to the dangerous and exciting element of love – the element which makes it such an intense, existentially challenging experience. For Badiou, it’s imperative that we preserve this element of danger against a safety-first culture that avoids risk.

    Want to see all full key ideas from In Praise Of Love?

    Key ideas in In Praise Of Love

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is In Praise Of Love about?

    In Praise of Love (2012) is a passionate defense of love in an age when romance is threatened from all directions. The product of a dialogue between French philosopher Alain Badiou and journalist Nicholas Truong, the book lays bare how our sex-obsessed media, our individualistic striving, and our online-dating culture are all setting love up to fail. Its thesis: love needs to be reinvented for the modern world.

    Who should read In Praise Of Love?

    • Restless singles afraid of commitment
    • Hopeless romantics longing for more than just shallow hook-ups
    • Long-term couples who want to rekindle their bond

    About the Author

    Alain Badiou is a prominent French philosopher who holds the René Descartes chair at the European Graduate School. He’s considered one of the most important voices in the area of continental philosophy who is still living today. He has written many other works including Being and Event, The Meaning of Sarkozy, and Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil.

    Nicholas Truong is a journalist and regular contributor to the French daily newspaper Le Monde.

    Categories with In Praise Of Love

    Books like In Praise Of Love

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    27 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial