Philosophy of Love

Is there by any chance any person could give me a site where I could find the most comprehensive discussion of the term “love” philosophically? Whereby all the standpoints coming from the Ancient Greeks, to the Medievals, Modern, Existentials, Structuralists, and PostModerns is actually present. Specifically, where each and every philosopher belonging to each school of thought gives their own definition of “love” and the attempt to answer the question “what is love?” I’d gladly appreciate it if anyone can actually reply ASAP to this request. Thanks!

try google


If you didn’t find anything with Google, try this link. I had it saved in my favorites and I was reading it just now…so, here you go.

I hope that helps.

If you’re still around jpatrick_lee:

or you could probably just refer back to my earliest posts for a whole lot of love babble…

wow…love can be explained?

beatles come in all you need is love…lalala…all you need is love…

Just read Vortical & Psyche’s theads- he’s from Mars and she’s from Venus! :laughing:

Here’s an excerpt from the link I posted. Feels appropriate. I’d like to believe that “true love” is transcendent, but perhaps it is only in me- that has such a strong devotion or desire to share my life with someone. Here you go- have a blast- like grinding shards of glass into a fine dust to salt a wound:


by James Park

I. Romantic Love was Invented
800 Years Ago by the French Troubadours.

   Most of us emerged from childhood
believing that romantic love is a natural phenomenon.
When we ‘fall in love’, we seem to be possessed
by an irresistible passion, filling our hearts.
So, how could these romantic feelings be a cultural creation,
invented only 800 years ago?

   Before the Middle Ages, some people probably experienced
exaggerated, fantasy feelings close to what we now call “romantic love”.
But such accidental eruptions of personal, deluded feelings
did not become the passion of the masses
until the French troubadours refined and spread the emotional game of love.

   Who were these people who—as a matter of historical fact—
started the feeling that has now become a taken-for-granted phenomenon?
The French troubadours were traveling entertainers who
put on plays, recited poetry, and sang the popular songs of the day.
Their audiences especially liked romantic stories and songs.
The tradition they started has continued into the popular culture of today.

II. ‘Falling in Love’ as Temporary Insanity.

   Romantic love is an altered state of consciousness.
We seem possessed by an alien force taking over our minds.
Everything seems wonderful—especially the object of our love.

   Our ‘spontaneous’ love-reactions pull us together
into a whirlpool of hopeless, uncontrollable, overwhelming passion.
It is like surfing on an ocean wave
—sliding down a surging force beyond our control.

   Romantic love is blind because we are really responding
to our own internal fantasies, well-prepared by the romantic tradition.
For years, we have been yearning for our Dream Lover.
And when a close approximation appears,
we project all our pent-up fantasies upon that unsuspecting victim.

   These experiences are really being in love with love.
Such ‘love’ is entirely an emotion, taking place inside our own skins.
Perhaps we remain basically closed persons,
intensely enjoying our own private, internal feelings,
using others as props or supporting characters in our grand love stories.

III. Love & Marriage: Fantasy & Facts.

   In the American way of love, marriages are contracted ‘for love’.
But often the kind of ‘love’ that leads to the altar is romantic infatuation.
After the honeymoon is over, grim reality submerges the fantasy.
The bubble of romance,
which seemed so exquisitely beautiful for a moment,
vanishes with a silent pop, leaving only a small wet mark.

   In other cultures,
marriages are created for more practical reasons.
If there is to be any affection, it can come along later.

   But perhaps romantic love and marriage are incompatible.
Projected fantasies seldom survive years of living together.
Romantic love can be an enjoyable and harmless emotional game
—as long as we don’t attempt to construct our lives around it.

IV. How Did We Learn the Romantic Response?

   Almost from the moment of birth,
we have been surrounded by the romantic mythology.
Every element of the popular culture assumes that romance is real:
television, movies, novels, poetry, soap operas, advertising,
popular music of every kind, newspapers, magazine, & dating services.
We grew up in a milieu of romantic love.
Everywhere we turn, even tho we seldom notice it,
someone is making positive references to ‘falling in love’.

   The reason for the uniformity of our romantic beliefs and experiences
is not genetic similarity, control by the gods, or a common ‘human nature’
—but a common cultural tradition going back to the Middle Ages.
As diverse as we are, most of us pursue the same dream of romantic love.
Without the help of any organized conspiracy,
hundreds of accidental elements of popular culture
have shown us how to ‘fall in love’.
These ever-present purveyors of the romantic mythology
have shaped our deepest emotional-psychological structure:
We have been programmed to respond
when someone pushes the love bottom.

V. Emotional Programming: Romantic & Religious.

   That we human beings can be programmed emotionally
is amply demonstrated by such diverse phenomena as
nationalism, ethnic pride, loyalty to a sporting team,
or attachment to a television program.

   But the deepest examples of emotional indoctrination
come from the diverse religions of the human race.
When we are surrounded by people who fervently believe
(undemonstrable) ‘truths’ about themselves and the universe,
we often accept the same religious assumptions.
Or we may have had a ‘conversion experience’,
in which our feelings were suddenly transformed into a new condition.

   But what was the source or cause of this new emotional state?
Was it not the emotional expectations we had internalized
from the sub-culture that embraced that particular religion?

   We can be objective about religions emotional indoctrination
because only a certain segment of any population
embraces a particular form of religious faith.
But the romantic mythology surrounds everyone.
We have all learned the proper emotions to expect.
Almost all of us try to have the romantic emotions we believe are real.

VI. Good-bye to Illusions, Hello to Reality.

 The difficulty we may have in making ourselves ‘fall in love’
is not our emotional deficiency but our intellectual honesty.
If we eventually become convinced that romantic love is an illusion
—a web of projected fantasies and artificial feelings—
what do we do next?

   We can abandon these cultural delusions and begin to establish
our relationships based on real information about each other
and genuine commitment toward each other.
Reality-based relationships may not have the same emotional high,
but, in the long run, they are much better for us.
Instead of projecting our pre-existing fantasies on others,
we can get to know them as they really are
—and as the persons they are becoming.

   The wild, extravagant feeling of being hear-over-heels in love
is certainly an enjoyable delusion while that emotional ‘high’ lasts,
but should we attempt to build relationships on fantasy feelings?