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Friday, January 14, 2011
“Romantic Love is an Emotion”
Counterarguments from “Emotion”
•Emotions are property-dependent (quality or property that makes us love the
•Emotions are intentional (p.14-15)
•Emotions are felt (p.15)
Counterarguments from “Love”
•Love is a virtue (p.16)
•Love is a set of desires (p.14-15)
Halwani’s examples are consistently negative (i.e sorrow, grief, fear are grouped into a
similar group of emotions as love)
Several of these characteristics can be found in many long-term emotions (Halwani’s list
of Love’s characteristics). Can apply to different kinds of loving relationships other than
romantic love, from which we are trying to distinguish. #16 is essential – concern as a
marker for love. Cutoff point? Do we want to judge poetry/literature – if it’s not love,
what is it?
Romantic love – but no concern for the lovers’ well being?
•Ex. Extreme narcissism
Does Halwani have it right? Is there something that should/shouldn’t be on his list? Is
#16 the only essential characteristic?
The Symposium – In order to be a better man (in Greece), you needed to have sex with
older men. Not purely sexual, but educational and moral. Learned to make speeches, be
honorable, how to act, etc.
Plato writes dialogue to explain this relationship
Talking about and praising Eros. What love should do and what role love should play in
leading a morally good life. What does it take to live a good life? Fulfilling our human
potential and his idea of what that means.
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