Platitudes on Love (Armstrong)

The book I got recently; “Conditions of Love” is very well written; it’s good holiday reading, and possibly even philosophical! Here are some platitudes involved:

  1. The evolutionary account of love (which is lacking)
  2. A personal account of love (which contrasts to the evolutionary/macrolevel) fills in the gap
  3. Socrates/Plato’s thoughts on Love (Symposium)
    1. Love is what we find in another that is missing in ourselves
    2. Love is an admiration of the qualities we admire
    3. If love of a person involves a love of their qualities, our love moves to higher orders of abstraction, from [Object of love] to [explanans of our love]; which, in turn, moves on to the [Explanans of [explanans of our love]]. This basically means that Love is a way to Platonic truth – towards the forms of virtue and the good.
  4. Self deception in love
    1. It is highly detrimental to have a prior conception of our object of love; if we keep desiring for a particular ideal of a person (say, young, blonde, intelligent, wealthy, has all her teeth, likes World of Warcraft…) we are not only bound to never find them; but we also hinder our capability to be loving people, I’ll explain this a little more
    2. Key to being in love; is our own roles as a lover, we must be capable of loving another, caring for them, looking out for them, knowing their various idiosyncracies, being able to compromise, and readily accepting that both of you will be in some ways different. For; even if someone is largely similar to you that you love; you shall find that the differences (because there will be some) will seem HUGE!
    3. If; for example; you like Classical music (general); and your lover likes Baroque (a subset of [Classical – general]); it will be confabulated in a way that seems like some fundamental opposition!
    4. We have this inevitable need as adults to yearn for a kind of love that alludes to how we were loved as a child; an image of us being completely captured, nurtured, cared for, and sustained by another. That your whole being is subject to another’s will. This Isn’t Healthy! If we think about our sustainment as a child the relationship between parent and child was only one-way; you, the child, may have felt completely sustained; but the parent, had other dimensions of their life; their possible partner, other children, careers, bills to pay etc…therefore
    5. Adult relationships, if they are to be genuine; have to acknowledge the multifaceted aspects of our lives; maybe you can’t see each other all the time; maybe you have a career; maybe you have other projects; maybe you have kids; maybe you have to care for other people; maybe you are very ill…adult life, and adult love is very difficult, and people shouldn’t fall into these cockaygne fantasies about love, iff they are to love at all.

It’s a very interesting book. It’s philosophical in the very normal use of the word, that’s no bad thing!

Michael

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