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What is Love? Show more Show less

Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the reason for being, the subject of countless books, artwork, films, and works of theatre. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a deep emotional connection, the manifestation of physical and chemical reactions, the act of being entirely devoted to another individual, or nothing at all?
Love is the sensation, feeling and emotions you feel when you find the right person.
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The emotional dependence between two people

Love is the deep emotional dependence that develops between two people.

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Context

Love is not a single emotion but lots of emotions all interacting and coming together. It is not a single cord connecting two people, but many strings each one representing a different emotion. All of these strings together make up love.

The Argument

Love is the name given to the many complex emotions that attach two people. For example, I may feel sympathy for the object of my love. I feel disappointment when they feel disappointment or when they fail. I might feel amusement and joy at their confusion or embarrassment in a public setting. I might feel hurt when they show indifference towards me.[1] All of these examples of emotional interdependence come together to form a many-faceted connection that we call love. This view of love can be extended to children, friends, family, and loved ones. The complex nature of emotional interdependence allows the definition to be ascribed to anyone that you have an emotional interdependence with. The more emotional connections between the two people, the deeper the love is.

Counter arguments

In order for love to be understood as an emotional interdependence, there must be clear limits set on the boundaries of what does and does not constitute love. There must be a clear definition on the overarching bundle that ties these emotions together. For example, if I detest someone and I see that a mishap has befallen them and feel joy in that moment, there is clearly a form of emotional interdependence that exists between the two of us. It is reasonable to assume that this extends beyond the simple sadness/joy relationship. Maybe I also feel sad when this person is succeeding and feels happy. I feel humiliation when they triumph and feel excitement when they look set for a fall. This is clearly a complex emotional interdependence but is not love. Conversely, if a happily married individual enters a spate of clinical depression and no longer feels emotional concern to their spouse, are they no longer in love?

Premises

[P1] Love is the name given to complex emotional attachments that form between two people.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Deep emotional interdependence can emerge when two people are not in love. Also, emotional interdependence can break when people are in love.

References

  1. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/love/#EmotView

Proponents

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 16:04 UTC