Sunday, March 19, 2006

Philosophical Kissing ... I think

This brings another meaning to: "O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth!" (Song of Songs 1:2)

I recently came across the blog Per Caritatem, run by a philosophy-minded Texan. I know, quite a bit could be said about that. And good things too!

In one of her posts, "The Philosophy of Kissing," she links to a letter and the response wherein the writer considers not only what a platonic kiss is but also talks about the differences between the following:

Aristotelian kiss ...
Hegelian kiss: "Dialiptical technique in which the kiss incorporates its own antithikiss, forming a synthekiss."
Wittgensteinian kiss ...
Gödelian kiss ...

Then some more are considered:

· Socratic kiss. Really a Platonic kiss, but it's claimed to be the Socratic technique so it'll sound more authoritative; however, compared to most strictly Platonic kisses, Socratic kisses wander around a lot more and cover more ground.

· Kantian kiss. A kiss that, eschewing inferior "phenomenal" contact, is performed entirely on the superior "noumenal" plane; though you don't actually feel it at all, you are, nonetheless, free to declare it the best kiss you've ever given or received.

· Kafkaesque kiss. A kiss that starts out feeling like it's about to transform you but ends up just bugging you.

· Sartrean kiss. A kiss that you worry yourself to death about even though it really doesn't matter anyway.

· Russell-Whiteheadian kiss. A formal kiss in which each lip and tongue movement is rigorously and completely defined, even though it ends up seeming incomplete somehow.

· Pythagorean kiss. A kiss given by someone who has developed some new and wonderful techniques but refuses to use them on anyone for fear that others would find out about them and copy them.

· Cartesian kiss. A particularly well-planned and coordinated movement: "I think, therefore, I aim." In general, a kiss does not count as Cartesian unless it is applied with enough force to remove all doubt that one has been kissed. (cf. Polar kiss, a more well-rounded movement involving greater nose-to-nose contact, but colder overall.)

· Heisenbergian kiss. A hard-to-define kiss--the more it moves you, the less sure you are of where the kiss was; the more energy it has, the more trouble you have figuring out how long it lasted. Extreme versions of this type of kiss are known as "virtual kisses" because the level of uncertainty is so high that you're not quite sure if you were kissed or not. Virtual kisses have the advantage, however, that you need not have anyone else in the room with you to enjoy them.

· Nietzscheian kiss. "She/he who does not kiss you, makes your lust stronger."

· Zenoian kiss. Your lips approach, closer and closer, but never actually touch.

Augustine: You awaken me to delight in your mouth, and my lips are restless until they’re kissing you.

Luther: If the Word of God tells me to kiss, then I will kiss—and let the pope, the world and the devil be damned! [However, it should probably be added: unless I (Luther) consider that passage disagreeable to what I want God to say, in which case, I will call it an "epistle of straw," have the book thrown into the fire, and let kissing be damned!]

Adolf von Harnack: Jesus’ own simple teaching about kissing was immediately eclipsed by the early Christians’ Hellenistic approach to kissing.

Karl Barth: “I kiss you.” There are three related problems to consider here. I kiss you. I kiss you. I kiss you.

Hans Urs von Balthasar: Kissing is not only true and good, but it is beautiful.

Hans Küng: The Church’s approach to kissing is in urgent need of the most radical and most far-reaching reform.

Wolfhart Pannenberg: One’s first kiss is a proleptic anticipation of all that is still to come.

N. T. Wright: Every kiss is a dramatic enactment of our return from exile.

Billy Graham: Will you walk down the aisle and kiss me tonight? Will you do it tonight? You many never have another chance—you might be dead tomorrow!

Gerd Lüdemann: After many years of careful research, I have decided to kiss my faith goodbye.

Stanley Hauerwas: "In the community established upon the principle of nonviolence, the question 'whom should I kiss' never arises - since to refuse to kiss is itself an act of violence. We kiss not because Jesus recommended it, but because in Jesus we discover that God is a kisser. So you'd all better damn well pucker up."

If you know anything about Hauerwas, that one was great.
In reading the comments, I found a patristic take on the whole thing:

Ignatius of Antioch: I can’t wait to kiss those lions!

Justin Martyr: Greek kisses and Jewish kisses were preparations for The Kiss.

Irenaeus: Those ridiculous Gnostics have invented 30 crazy ways to kiss and not one of them is
the True Kiss.

Tertullian: There will be no kissing! But I can provide you with a whole new Latin vocabulary on the subject.

Athanasius: A kiss is both human and divine.

Anselm: Why a kiss is satisfying.

Aquinas: Substantially, a kiss is no accident. [Elsewhere F & T noted his own Thomistic take on the matter: "There are five ways to prove the existence of a kiss...."]

Huss: Allow us to kiss with both lips!

Time to give someone a kiss. Where is she?

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