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Genuine Love - Essay Example

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The feeling of love is not consistent, but how one expresses love can and should be consistent in order to have stability within a relationship. Commitment is a part of love in the way that one promises to behave in relationship to the expectations that someone has for their life and how they exist within love. Parents will make a social contract with their children just as much as they make with their spouse and how they fulfill that contract is an important part of the relationship that they have with the one for which they love. The actions taken towards fulfilling that contract, however, are not the same as the feeling of love. In examining the nature of love as it relates to both consistency and exclusivity, the nature of the emotion of love must be defined separately from the actions that one will take in expressing love. Definition As much as the topic needs clarification, there does not seem to be one clear definition of love. As human beings, we attach love to procreation, loving our mates and loving our children. We love our family and our friends, varying the social meanings of that emotion as it is appropriate to the relationship that we have with others. The meaning of love, however, has been greatly avoided in its discussion. According to discussions made within Armstrong (2003), the philosophical meanings of love are often considered as a presumption of understandings between human beings. The discussion of the specific meaning of love is often avoided. Nussbaum (1997) discusses the irony of the statement that Socrates made about understanding nothing with the one exception of love. In making this claim Socrates creates “the claim to have grasped and understood the nature of love (which) is part and parcel of an enterprise that is busy converting loved persons into instantiations of a universal, and so into proper objects of (scientific) understanding, all in order to repudiate and transcend the phenomenon of love as ordinary mortals experience it” (Nussbaum, 1997, p. 3). Love is not defined universally, but is a collection of experiences that are assessed through intellectual judgments. Love is not lust, obsession, or fantasy. Sometimes, though, maybe it is. That is the indefinable nature of love. It happens in the brain, and that is about as much as we understand about it other than it usually results in positive feelings – unless it does not, and it usually involves sentimentality – unless it does not. Love is individuated and indefinable other than its nature as a connection between two people that requires emotional attachement. Consistency Consistency in love is impossible. Each moment of life contains within it an individual experience. These moments last a second, day, or an eternity, but life is a flow of experiences that are like a river in which it is never exactly the same from moment to moment. It would be too much to expect the experience of emotion to be unwavering. As human beings it is natural to question decisions and to wonder how life might have been different through different choices. Love has an element of challenge, so if a beloved never presented a bit of a challenge, life would be dull. However, when those challenges cross the line, love may waver. How much love one can sustain is never a constant. If love never wavered, its renewal would never come and the feeling of being reenergized ...Show more
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Running Head: PHILOSOPHY Genuine love: A discussion on what it means to love through examining its consistency and exclusivity Genuine love: A discussion on what it means to love through examining its consistency and exclusivity Introduction The topic of love is discussed across a great number of disciplines but there have been very few satisfactory conclusions on the meaning of love…
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