What is love? Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a collection of free MIT courses
Love is often associated with romance, but it also applies to many other aspects of our lives — from friendship to parental care to creativity. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of free courses and lectures from MIT OpenCourseWare and MITx that explore love’s role in philosophy, literature, music, film, and more.
Delve into the philosophical, anthropological, and poetic side of love
Explore the nature of love through philosophy, literature, film, poetry, and individual experience. This course looks at ideas of love as a feeling, an action, a species of “knowing someone,” or a way to give or take.
Learn about the nature of love and sex in philosophy and literature. This course includes readings of philosophy works, as well as classic myths of love in literature.
Explore the sequences of English love sonnets written by William Shakespeare, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and Mary Wroth.
Discover the myriad forms that families and households take and consider their social, emotional, and economic dynamics. This course introduces learners to the anthropological study of the social institutions and symbolic meanings of family, gender, and sexuality.
Analyze intimate bonds and the permutations of heartbreak in novels, short stories, poetry, music videos, and theater.
Find out if ideas about love translate easily across history, culture, and identity. This course explores surprising — and even disturbing — ideas about love and sex from medieval writers and characters.
Food is an all-encompassing expression of love. In this course, you get to visit the past through cookbooks and learn about religious and nutritional concerns, gender dynamics of culinary writing, and the roles people played in writing and cooking recipes.
Discover the scientific side of love
Learn about the current theories on happiness and positive psychology, as well as practical implications of those theories for our own lives. This seminar explores the concept of happiness, different cultural definitions of happiness, and the connection between happiness, optimism, and meaning.
Delve into the first chapter of The Emotion Machine, a mind-expanding book that looks into how our minds work. This lecture covers topics such as love, infatuation, and the self.
Explore the online dating scene through a management and mathematics lens. This video takes a deep dive into eHarmony and the probability of love.
Tune into this audio lecture to discover what psychology can tell us about love.
Learn about the world — and love — at the molecular level by exploring chemical structure and bonding from a quantum mechanical perspective. Topics include wave-particle duality, electronic structure of atoms, chemical bonding models, and intermolecular interactions.
Explore the secret of life through the basics of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA, genomics, and rational medicine.
MIT OpenCourseWare, part of MIT Open Learning, offers free, online, open educational resources from more than 2,500 courses that span the MIT undergraduate and graduate curriculum.
MITx, also part of MIT Open Learning, offers hundreds of high-quality massive open online courses adapted from the MIT classroom for learners worldwide.
What is love? Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a collection of free MIT courses was originally published in MIT Open Learning on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.