Philosophy of Love

Use this forum to discuss the August 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Living in Color: A Love Story, In Sickness and in Health by Mike Murphy
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Sushan
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Philosophy of Love

Post by Sushan »

This topic is about the August 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Living in Color: A Love Story, In Sickness and in Health by Mike Murphy


...love is the only thing that really matters.
(Location 94 - Kindle version)

This quote is frequently found in romance related literature. People (including philosophers) have said and say many things about love. But philosophically speaking, what exactly is love? And what exactly is its role in human lives? Is it the only thing that really matters, as suggested by the above quote?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
stevie
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Re: Philosophy of Love

Post by stevie »

Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm This topic is about the August 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Living in Color: A Love Story, In Sickness and in Health by Mike Murphy


...love is the only thing that really matters.
(Location 94 - Kindle version)

This quote is frequently found in romance related literature. People (including philosophers) have said and say many things about love.
That's true. E.g. christians may say that although love is essential and indispensable it is not "the only thing that really matters" because at least faith is equally important.
Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm But philosophically speaking, what exactly is love?
:lol: "philosophically speaking"?

Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm And what exactly is its role in human lives?
Honestly I don't know. I think the word "love" is one of these words that inspires many associations and thoughts depending on cultural conditioning and individual life situation but of which there is no evident basis.
Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm Is it the only thing that really matters, as suggested by the above quote?
Not according to christians, s.above. And for many materialists and our culture money is more important.
mankind ... must act and reason and believe; though they are not able, by their most diligent enquiry, to satisfy themselves concerning the foundation of these operations, or to remove the objections, which may be raised against them [Hume]
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Re: Philosophy of Love

Post by Gee »

Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm This topic is about the August 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Living in Color: A Love Story, In Sickness and in Health by Mike Murphy


...love is the only thing that really matters.
(Location 94 - Kindle version)

But philosophically speaking, what exactly is love?
It is bonding, connection, the glue that holds consciousness and life together. Of course, hate does the same thing, but hate does it in a way that is destructive, damaging, so love is better.

Gee
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Re: Philosophy of Love

Post by Angelo Cannata »

Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm what exactly is love? And what exactly...
You will never understand love if you approach it with such a mentality of "exactly". "Exactly" is good for math, science, analysis. If somebody tells you "2+2=4", you can answer "What does exactly mean 4?": that's ok. If somebody tells you "I love you", answering "What does exactly love mean?" means that you are not connected with your heart.
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Re: Philosophy of Love

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stevie wrote: August 5th, 2022, 1:41 pm
Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm This topic is about the August 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Living in Color: A Love Story, In Sickness and in Health by Mike Murphy


...love is the only thing that really matters.
(Location 94 - Kindle version)

This quote is frequently found in romance related literature. People (including philosophers) have said and say many things about love.
That's true. E.g. christians may say that although love is essential and indispensable it is not "the only thing that really matters" because at least faith is equally important.
Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm But philosophically speaking, what exactly is love?
:lol: "philosophically speaking"?

Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm And what exactly is its role in human lives?
Honestly I don't know. I think the word "love" is one of these words that inspires many associations and thoughts depending on cultural conditioning and individual life situation but of which there is no evident basis.
Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm Is it the only thing that really matters, as suggested by the above quote?
Not according to christians, s.above. And for many materialists and our culture money is more important.
Well, we see different things as most important things to our lives in various time periods of our lives. This can be influenced by religious matters as well. So, yes, for some love can be the only thing that matters.

I think we need a clear definition for 'love', and then we may be able to think about its role in human lives.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Philosophy of Love

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Gee wrote: August 5th, 2022, 6:35 pm
Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm This topic is about the August 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Living in Color: A Love Story, In Sickness and in Health by Mike Murphy


...love is the only thing that really matters.
(Location 94 - Kindle version)

But philosophically speaking, what exactly is love?
It is bonding, connection, the glue that holds consciousness and life together. Of course, hate does the same thing, but hate does it in a way that is destructive, damaging, so love is better.

Gee
I think that is somewhat similar to what Plato said about love. He highlighted the psychological component rather than the physical component. But how does it actually hold consciousness and life together?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Sushan
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Re: Philosophy of Love

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Angelo Cannata wrote: August 6th, 2022, 2:12 am
Sushan wrote: August 5th, 2022, 12:44 pm what exactly is love? And what exactly...
You will never understand love if you approach it with such a mentality of "exactly". "Exactly" is good for math, science, analysis. If somebody tells you "2+2=4", you can answer "What does exactly mean 4?": that's ok. If somebody tells you "I love you", answering "What does exactly love mean?" means that you are not connected with your heart.
Then how can we avoid misunderstandings? We say "I love you" to various people with various meanings. But if the receiving end cannot understand what it 'exactly' means, then there can be trouble more than benefits.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Philosophy of Love

Post by Angelo Cannata »

I agree, renouncing to a mentality of exactness exposes the speakers to a lot of misunderstanding, but this is the necessary price to pay to get access to the most complex aspects of our existence, such as love, poetry, art. Wanting to be exact means reducing our attention to those elements that are easily protected from misunderstanding through strict definitions. But, once you obtained that kind of protection, what happens to all other elements that cannot be protected because they are too complex? Shall we exclude them from our attention to avoid misunderstanding? Is it ok for philosophy to do this? Should philosophy limit its attention to those things that can be protected from misunderstanding? This seems Wittgenstein's idea when he said "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent". I disagree: when we are unable to speak clearly about something, we can still force the language, by using poetry, paradoxical concepts and even contradictions, in order to try to express the inexpressible. In this case, protection from misunderstanding can be obtained by simply keeping in mind that exact understanding doesn't actually exist at all. This means that Wittgenstein didn't realize that, according to his rule, we actually should never talk about anything, and he forgot to practice something that is very normal in philosophy: applying rules to themselves. According to his rule, Wittgenstein shouldn't have expressed that rule: it is itself the first breaking of itself. Philosophy is not maths, and even maths is far from being immune from misunderstanding.
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Re: Philosophy of Love

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Angelo Cannata wrote: August 16th, 2022, 1:49 pm I agree, renouncing to a mentality of exactness exposes the speakers to a lot of misunderstanding, but this is the necessary price to pay to get access to the most complex aspects of our existence, such as love, poetry, art. Wanting to be exact means reducing our attention to those elements that are easily protected from misunderstanding through strict definitions. But, once you obtained that kind of protection, what happens to all other elements that cannot be protected because they are too complex? Shall we exclude them from our attention to avoid misunderstanding? Is it ok for philosophy to do this? Should philosophy limit its attention to those things that can be protected from misunderstanding? This seems Wittgenstein's idea when he said "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent". I disagree: when we are unable to speak clearly about something, we can still force the language, by using poetry, paradoxical concepts and even contradictions, in order to try to express the inexpressible. In this case, protection from misunderstanding can be obtained by simply keeping in mind that exact understanding doesn't actually exist at all. This means that Wittgenstein didn't realize that, according to his rule, we actually should never talk about anything, and he forgot to practice something that is very normal in philosophy: applying rules to themselves. According to his rule, Wittgenstein shouldn't have expressed that rule: it is itself the first breaking of itself. Philosophy is not maths, and even maths is far from being immune from misunderstanding.
I think you have a point. We do not discuss about things that we know for sure. When a question has more than one possible answer we tend to try to prove our points. Yes, philosophy can include, as well as cause many misunderstandings. And the paradoxes and contradictions can waste a lot of valuable time. It is always a life-choice either to argue and waste time (sometimes we may find the correct answer) or to respect Wittgenstein and remain silent.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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