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What is love?
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Love is the emotional interdependence between people

Love is the deep emotional dependence that develops between two people.


Love is not a single emotion but lots of emotions all interacting and coming together. It is not a single cord connecting two people but many strings, each one representing a different emotion.

The Argument

Love is the name given to the many complex emotions that attach two people. For example, we may feel sympathy for the object of our love. We feel disappointment when they feel disappointment or when they fail. We might feel amusement and joy at their confusion or embarrassment in a public setting. We might feel hurt when they show indifference towards us.[1] All of these examples of emotional interdependence come together to form a many-faceted connection that we call love. This view of love can be extended to children, friends and family. The complex nature of emotional interdependence allows the definition to be ascribed to anyone that you have an emotional interdependence with. The more emotional connections between the two people, the deeper the love is.

Counter arguments

In order for love to be understood as an emotional interdependence, there must be clear limits set on the boundaries of what does and does not constitute love. There must be a clear definition on the overarching bundle that ties these emotions together. For example, if we detest someone and then see that a mishap has befallen them and feel joy in that moment, there is clearly a form of emotional interdependence that exists between the two of us. It is reasonable to assume that this extends beyond the simple sadness/joy relationship. Maybe we also feel sad when this person is succeeding. This is clearly a complex emotional interdependence but is not love. Conversely, if a happily married individual enters a spate of clinical depression and no longer feels emotional concern to their spouse, are they no longer in love?



[P1] Love is the name given to complex emotional attachments that form between two people.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Deep emotional interdependence can emerge when two people are not in love. [Rejecting P1] Emotional interdependence can break when people are in love.


This page was last edited on Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 23:04 UTC

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