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This article was originally published on Medium by MIT Open Learning. 

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

Philosophy 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.

Philosophy of Love in the Western World

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.

Studies in poetry: Gender and lyric

Explore the sequences of English love sonnets written by William Shakespeare, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and Mary Wroth.

For love and money: Rethinking the family

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.

Writing about literature: Writing about love

Analyze intimate bonds and the permutations of heartbreak in novels, short stories, poetry, music videos, and theater.

Medieval literature: Love, sex, and marriage

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.

Reading cookbooks: From The Forme Of Cury to The Smitten Kitchen

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

The art and science of happiness

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.

Lecture 2: Falling in love

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.

eHarmony: Maximizing the probability of love

Explore the online dating scene through a management and mathematics lens. This video takes a deep dive into eHarmony and the probability of love.

The battle of the sexes: Love and evolution

Tune into this audio lecture to discover what psychology can tell us about love.

General Chemistry I: Atoms, molecules, and bonding

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.

Introduction to biology: The secret of life

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.