Theory of love
Occasionally when reading I run across a phrase or sentence or paragraph, which really rings a bell for me. The bell may be recognition of the compatibility of the point to my own conclusions or perhaps the point caused an epiphany, or other reasons. When I encounter such a point I often copy it and store it in a file for later analysis. One such point is as follows: “Platonic idea that the giving and receiving of knowledge, the active formation of another’s character, or the more passive growth under another’s guidance, is the truest and strongest foundation of love”.
My analysis of this sentence led me down a long trail over an extended period of time to an understanding of the meaning of the statement and to an agreement with the meaning of that statement.
When studying philosophy I had read some of Plato’s work and had a slight remembrance of one of his Dialogues in which he dealt with the subject of love. After some study of the particular Dialogue in question and some further study of Plato’s general philosophy I realized what was meant by the point made in the sentence I had saved.
Plato wrote, “An unexamined life is not worth living”. I find this a bit hyperbolic but nevertheless agree with the general point. Plato also argued that the giving and receiving of knowledge, the active formation of another’s character, or the more passive growth under another’s guidance, is the truest and strongest foundation of love. Plato judged that the basis of love is centered upon the mutual struggle for truth.
I would not attempt to explain why Plato’s Idealistic philosophy leads to this conclusion but I think one can find justification for this point of view by considering the nature of the parent to progeny relationship. Considering the nature of evolution one might easily discover that the origin of love could be observed in the obvious relationship of present day mammals. The educational relationship between the animal mother and their progeny are evident to the most casual observer.
I often watch the Discovery Channel on TV. As you probably know this channel often has a great documentary on animal life. Their audio/visual presentations give the viewer wonderful insights into the life of animals. Often the animals in question are large mammals such as lions, gorillas, monkeys, etc. I find verification of Plato’s theory every time I see the relationship between mother and progeny in these documentaries.
Evolutionary Psychology is based on the theory that all human psychological traits, such as love, must be traceable to our evolutionary ancestors. The source of love in humans is evolved from the mother infant relationship in early mammals (perhaps).
I find this theory of love makes sense. Do you agree?