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Carrie Jenkins - University of British Columbia. Vancover, BC, CA

Carrie Jenkins

Canada Research Chair and Professor of Philosophy | University of British Columbia

Vancover, BC, CANADA

Writer and award-winning public philosopher.



Carrie Jenkins Publication



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UBC philosopher untangles the mysteries of love 'Philosophers on Film' Interview at NIP Why I Believe In Numbers Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins: Knowing Our Own Hearts  Self Reporting and the Science of Love




I'm a writer and philosopher based in Vancouver, BC. I currently hold a Canada Research Chair in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. I studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and have also held academic posts at the University of St Andrews, the Australian National University, the University of Michigan, the University of Nottingham, and the University of Aberdeen. At UBC I head up a SSHRC-funded project on The Nature of Romantic Love. My new book, What Love Is And What It Could Be, is out now with Basic Books (NY).

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (5)


Philosophy of Logic


Philosophy of Romantic Love

Interdisciplinary Philosophy

Accomplishments (1)

American Philosophical Association Public Philosophy Op Ed Contest Award (professional)


Winner 2016 American Philosophical Association Public Philosophy Op Ed Contest Award

Education (3)

Trinity College, Cambridge: Ph.D., Philosophy

Trinity College, Cambridge: M.Phil., Philosophy

Trinity College, Cambridge: B.A., Philosophy

Affiliations (1)

  • University of British Columbia : Canada Research Chair

Media Appearances (9)

UBC Profs Organize Sexual Assault Conference Amid Scandal

The Huffington Post  online


Philosophy professor Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins said the conference was one of many suggestions that emerged when a group of concerned UBC faculty members met in December...

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Valentine's Day advice for the single person

CBC  online


Ichikawa Jenkins studies the metaphysics of love at UBC. "There is this perception that we can't understand love, and that it's really mysterious. Nothing we do is going to get us any closer to figuring out what it is, and you have to let it go and not overthink it. " "Actually, we're underthinking love. If we had more of an opportunity to get into the philosophical questions, like, 'what is this thing?', 'where does it come from?'...I think that could really help people who are struggling with living up to expectations."...

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Modern Love (Part 4)

CBC Radio Early Edition  radio


Is romance lost in the modern dating age?

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She wants to know what love is

University of British Columbia  online


Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins, a Canada Research Chair in philosophy, is the brain behind the multi-year ‘The Metaphysics of Love Project.’ As part of her analytical look into passions of the heart, Jenkins is inviting the public to contribute their observations and experiences of romantic love using the Twitter hashtag #romanticloveis “Metaphysics is the inquiry into the nature of reality, what’s real and what isn’t, what’s natural and what isn’t, what’s fundamental and what isn’t,” explains the young purple-haired professor, who certainly doesn’t fit the stereotype of the bearded, brooding male thinker...

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Don't mix up love with marriage

Globe and Mail  online


Last Friday, my social media exploded in rainbow hearts and bubbled over with messages that "love just won." #lovewins suddenly became a top trending hashtag on Twitter, because love is love, right?...

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What's love got to do with sex ed? Maybe everything

Globe and Mail  online


Ontario schools are introducing a new sex ed curriculum this September, one that covers topics such as sexting and consent as opposed merely to the mechanics of sex. Predictably, some parents are vocally outraged...

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The L-word in Sex Ed: should love be part of the lesson?

CBC  radio


Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins, Canada Research Chair in philosophy at UBC, argues that schools should talk about love because it's something we value highly but don't understand properly...

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Exploring The Metaphysics Of Love

npr  online


"Is love an emotion? An experience? Is it a kind of desire? Is it possible to love a fictional person? To love more than one person? Is romantic love fundamentally different from other kinds of love?"

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Sense of Place

Roundhouse Radio  radio


Host Minelle Mahtani talks about love with Canada Research Chair and Professor Carrie Jenkins.

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Articles (5)

Epistemological Naturalisms

The Blackwell Companion to Naturalism

2015 One traditionally prominent kind of epistemological naturalism centers on the rejection of a priori knowledge. Its motivating idea is that the very idea of a priori knowledge is unscientific, because science is a purely empirical enterprise. Since anything that is unscientific is thereby unacceptable to a naturalist, the thought continues, epistemological naturalists must reject the a priori. Something like this line of thought has also been applied to epistemic normativity and armchair knowledge, both of which have been treated as similarly inimical ...

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The traditional conception of the a priori


2015 In this paper, we explore the traditional conception of a prioricity as epistemic independence of evidence from sense experience. We investigate the fortunes of the traditional conception in the light of recent challenges by Timothy Williamson. We contend that Williamson's arguments can be resisted in various ways. En route, we argue that Williamson's views are not as distant from tradition (in particular, from Kant) as they might seem at first glance.

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What Is Love? An Incomplete Map of the Metaphysics

Journal of the American Philosophical Association

2015 The paper begins by surveying a range of possible views on the metaphysics of romantic love, organizing them as responses to a single question. It then outlines a position, constructionist functionalism, according to which romantic love is characterized by a functional role that is at least partly constituted by social matters (social institutions, traditions, and practices), although this role may be realized by states that are not socially constructed.

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What Can We Know A Priori?

Current Controversies in Epistemology

2014 Michael Devitt has been developing an influential two-pronged attack on the a priori for over thirteen years. This attack does not attempt to undermine the coherence or significance of the distinction between the a priori and the a posteriori, but rather to answer the question “What can we know a priori?” with: “Nothing.”...

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Serious Verbal Disputes: Ontology, Metaontology, and Analyticity

The Journal of Philosophy

2014 I will be considering whether ODS is true on the assumption that recent disputes about the existence of ordinary objects are reasonably representative of “typical” ontological disputes. Although ontological disputes are many and varied, I do in fact think the dispute over the existence of ordinary objects is reasonably typical of a fairly wide class of ontological disputes (which is not to say it is representative of all of them). For that reason, I think many of the issues I discuss here are generalizable to other ontological disputes and the case of ...

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