By Robert C. Solomon
Romantic love may possibly start with sexual ardour, however it is guided and nurtured via principles the fans have approximately their selves and the realm, in accordance with this college of Texas philosophy professor. Solomon defines romantic love as an emotional strategy that's reciprocal and acceptable purely among equals. A lover might supplement what's top in us, embrace values we percentage or inspire beliefs we attempt after. In any occasion, love endures in basic terms whilst it forges a conceptual bond, everybody viewing the other's life as essential to entire one's self. during this clever, witty, adventurous essay, Solomon sheds mild on love initially sight, no matter if opposites allure, counterfeit emotion, the euphemism (and act) of ""sleeping together,'' possessiveness, the necessity of enthusiasts for privateness and the significance of fights in a fit dating. His re-visioning of affection favors Plato's idea of the merger of 2 souls over Freud's view of affection as sublimated erotic feeling.
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Extra info for About Love: Reinventing Romance for our Times
How can they tell? What should they look for? And does saying "I love you" simply describe the state of mind that each of them feelsor does it make something true? Is love what they feel-or is love what follows? Is love the excitement and the desire-or is it the satisfaction and its duration? This is the critical question. One might complain that looking so closely at love spoils the magic, but love is a pretty cheap trick if mere looking will spoil it. One might object to the analysis of THE ELUSIVE EMOTION 33 love or insist that love is not sufficiently precise, but our own experience shows that we demand just such precision and understanding.
The long history of marriage as a sacrament has little to say about sexual love and sometimes has much to say against it, and by the time of courtly love, courtship typically provided an alternative to loveless marriage rather than a pre- THE ELUSIVE EMOTION 61 lude to marriage or-almost unheard of-the content of marriage itself. In fact, the history of romantic love would seem to indicate that love has its origins not only independent of marriage but as a rebellion against marriage. The classic chivalric romance of Camelot was not the story of Arthur and Guinevere but of Guinevere and Lancelot-illicit, illegal, clandestine and doomed.
Love has long been thought to be a kind of desire, or else the admiration of one's lover. " But love is not a desire for nor an appreciation of any "object," no matter how beautiful or charming he or she or it may be. Love is the emotional need for another subject who also has emotions and attitudes and, in particular, has emotions and attitudes about us. We might think the face delightful and the body beautiful but what concerns us in love is what that face and that body have to say to us. " But by treating the person we love as the "object" of love, he forced himself and many others to think in terms of an isolated self reaching out to possess or win over another being.