The sociologists deemed it a social construct.
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The economists said that nothing else mattered except for how little there was, or how much. The linguists explained the word came from Old English. The theologians claimed it came straight from God. The anthropologists spoke of love across cultures. The mathematicians tried to work out its square root. The neuroscientists pointed at MRI scans.
The musicologists played its song on a lute. The art historians said it was all about perspective. The geologists believed it from molten rock hewn. The classicists read extracts from Sappho and Ovid.
The astrophysicists thought it to do with the moon. The geographers tried to map all its contours. The literature scholars quoted Auden and Keats. At the end we were no nearer an answer; we reconvene on Wednesday next week. Love it!
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Perhaps because no poets were present at this symposium. You are commenting using your WordPress. Agape is a more generalised love, it's not about exclusivity but about love for all of humanity. Philautia is self love, which isn't as selfish as it sounds. As Aristotle discovered and as any psychotherapist will tell you, in order to care for others you need to be able to care about yourself. Last, and probably least even though it causes the most trouble, eros is about sexual passion and desire.
Love is all of the above. But is it possibly unrealistic to expect to experience all six types with only one person. This is why family and community are important.
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The answer remains elusive in part because love is not one thing. Love for parents, partners, children, country, neighbour, God and so on all have different qualities. Each has its variants — blind, one-sided, tragic, steadfast, fickle, reciprocated, misguided, unconditional.
At its best, however, all love is a kind a passionate commitment that we nurture and develop, even though it usually arrives in our lives unbidden. That's why it is more than just a powerful feeling. Without the commitment, it is mere infatuation.
Without the passion, it is mere dedication. Without nurturing, even the best can wither and die.
What love is depends on where you are in relation to it. Secure in it, it can feel as mundane and necessary as air — you exist within it, almost unnoticing. Deprived of it, it can feel like an obsession; all consuming, a physical pain. Love is the driver for all great stories: not just romantic love, but the love of parent for child, for family, for country.
It is the point before consummation of it that fascinates: what separates you from love, the obstacles that stand in its way. It is usually at those points that love is everything. Love is more easily experienced than defined.