Emotional pain and difficulty in relationships is potentially dangerous and destructive. In this talk, I explore some of the potential uses and misuses of anti-love biotechnology from a scientific and ethical perspective.
"Love hurts" - as the saying goes - and a certain degree of pain and difficulty in intimate relationships is unavoidable. Sometimes it may even be beneficial, since, as it is often argued, some types (and amounts) of suffering can lead to personal growth, self-discovery, and a range of other essential components of a life well-lived. But other times, love is downright dangerous. Either it can trap a person in a cycle of violence, as in some domestic abuse cases, or it can prevent a person from moving on with her life or forming healthier relationships. The idea of an anti-love remedy or a "cure" for love is as old as love itself. References may be found in the writings of Lucretius, Ovid, Shakespeare, and many others, and are tightly linked to the notion that love or infatuation-under certain conditions-can be just like a serious illness: bad for one's physical and mental health and, in some cases, profoundly damaging to one's overall well-being. But unlike these ancient remedies, modern neuroscience and bio-psycho-pharmacology create the possibility of designing a "cure" for love that could actually work, raising a number of ethical questions about their possible use. In this talk, I explore some of the potential uses and misuses of anti-love bio-technlogy from a scientific and ethical perspective.