The Philosophy of Kissing
Dear Doctor Rude,
I think I understand what a "platonic kiss" is, but could you explain to me the difference between the following kisses?
Flummoxed in Florida
That's a very good question; nowadays most sex education courses focus on secondary and tertiary sources, so much so that few people really get exposed to the classics in this field any more. I'll try to make a brief but clear summary of some of these important types of kisses:
· Aristotelian kiss. A kiss performed using techniques gained solely from theoretical speculation untainted by any experiential data by one who feels that the latter is irrelevant anyway.
· Hegelian kiss. Dialiptical technique in which the kiss incorporates its own antithikiss, forming a synthekiss.
· Wittgensteinian kiss. The important thing about this type of kiss is that it refers only to the symbol (our internal mental representation we associate with the experience of the kiss--which must necessarily also be differentiated from the act itself for obvious reasons and which need not be by any means the same or even similar for the different people experiencing the act) rather than the act itself and, as such, one must be careful not to make unwarranted generalizations about the act itself or the experience thereof based merely on our manipulation of the symbology therefor.
· Gödelian kiss. A kiss that takes an extraordinarily long time, yet leaves you unable to decide whether you've been kissed or not.
Other “notable” kisses:
· 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.
Y la respuesta teológica, de los muchachos de Faith and Theology:
At one of my favourite new blogs, Per Caritatem, there is a marvellous post on the philosophy of kissing. So I thought I’d offer my own list here on “the theology of kissing”:
Augustine: You awaken me to delight in your mouth, and my lips are restless until they’re kissing you.
Thomas Aquinas: "There are five ways to prove the existence of a kiss...."
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!
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.
(Y cuatro adiciones de visitantes al sitio:
Walter Brueggemann: There is the kiss and the counterkiss and if one wins, we both lose.
Meister Eckhart: I kiss God and God kisses me. We kiss with the same lips.
Calvin(ism): Even though you don't deserve me, I chose to kiss you.
Moltmann: A kiss is a present promise of the future hope. Yeah baby!)
Addenda patrística, publicada en Nelmezzo:
Ben Myers at Faith and Theology has a very funny post on The Theology of Kissing. Read it first, then look at my additions:
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.
Huss: Allow us to kiss with both lips!
Y addenda teológica de Locustyears, donde destaca el de la exégesis rabínica:
Karl Rahner: The kiss in se is the kiss you experience.
(But see Catherine Mowry LaCugna: The very notion of a "kiss in se" reflects a patriarchal pre-occupation with metaphysical ontology! The best we can say about the true kiss is that our experience of it truly expresses the ineffable mystery of it.)
Friedrich Schleiermacher: The kiss is internal to you -- the reliable attestation thereof is the feeling of absolute dependence upon it.
Jürgen Moltmann: The significance of the kiss arises from the fact that it is truly an event between kisser and kisser.
John Calvin: Yet consider whether women are not quite past sense and reason when they want to kiss men.
Athanasius: Basium contra mundi.
John Wesley: About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in us through a kiss, I felt my lips strangely warmed, I felt I did trust in the kiss, the kiss alone. And an assurance was given me, that I had been kissed, even I, and had been saved from the continuous state of un-kissedness.
Rabbinical Theology: Rabbi Akiba said to Rabbi Eliezer: "Which things did the Holy One, blessed be He, create before He created the world?" Rabbi Eliezer responded to Rabbi Akiba: "The Holy One, blessed be He, in His almighty Wisdom created these four things prior to creating the world: The Torah, the Temple, His eternal Throne, and the Name of the Messiah." Rabbi Akiba responded: "These four things the Holy One, blessed be He, created before the creation of the world, and a fifth one He created like them -- the Kiss. For it is written: 'Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence' -- and indeed, what delights the mind and the senses more than a kiss?"
Left Behind: Wherein millions of people are caught up in the excitement of what they believe to be a reliable exposition of the kiss, only to find that this particular version of it involves trying to touch their rear-ends with their elbows.
Bart Ehrmann: The kiss as most people envision it is in fact a mere peck on the cheek -- far from the depth and diversity of the original kiss, which has been adulterated and "toned down" by the censors of earlier generations.
(¿Quién dice que la teología no es divertida?)