A Short History of Love
The concept of love from ancient times to today
In this mini-series of posts, we trace the history of the concept of love from Plato and Aristotle through the Christian world to the Desert Fathers. (more...)
Erich Fromm: How to Become a Loving Person
What keeps us from finding happiness in love?
Philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm believes that the main source of pain and anxiety for human beings comes from the feeling of separateness from others. (more...)
Erich Fromm: The Art of Loving
Do we need to learn how to love?
In his book “The Art of Loving” (1956) the psychoanalyst and philosopher Erich Fromm (1900-1980) discusses how love is often wrongly perceived as the passive “falling in love.” For Fromm, love is mainly a decision to love, to become a loving person. (more...)
How Can We Define Love?
How is love different from liking or friendship?
Love is characterised by: 1. Exclusivity; 2. Constancy; 3. Reciprocity; 4. Uniqueness; and 5. Irrepleaceability of the beloved. (more...)
Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love
What is love made of?
Robert Sternberg thinks that we can best describe love as composed of three “primary” components that combine to produce all the kinds of love that we observe around us: intimacy, passion and decision or commitment. (more...)
St Augustine on the Function and Pleasure of Sex
The real cost of pure pleasure
For St Augustine, the pleasure inherent in any activity is good as long as the activity is performed because of its intended function. (more...)
Love is All Around
Eryximachos’ views in Plato’s Symposion
In Plato’s Symposion, the doctor Eryximachos says that love is the harmony of opposites. This resonates with beliefs in the traditional medicine of many cultures, as well as with our concept of a “balanced” person. (more...)
Can love be forever?
In Plato’s Symposium, Plato defines love as the desire for the eternal possession of the good. (more...)