Definition Of Love As An Universal Phenomenon
Across generations, love has been defined in diverse modes and perceived from different angles. In fact, love comes in many forms and often feature seemingly indefinite number of categories, which somehow makes it a universal phenomenon. Whereas everyone experiences love, each and every individual has a different attitude and behavior toward this feeling. Love is an intimate feeling and a sense of care for another individual.
Plato in his work Symposium wrote about the character Aristhopanes about love claiming that it is a search of man’s alter ego in order to be whole again. On this conversation, Socrates agreed however stated that love directs a person to what is good because love seeks the beautiful as its sole object; furthermore, love wants to possess the good not just temporarily but perpetually. The great Saint Augustine on the other hand, mirrors love as something that can only be found in the love of God. Aquinas had the same standpoint as Augustine and wrote that man loves, and if he does not then he is a living dead. Moreover, Blaise Pascal spoke about love as the result of man’s thinking. He did not underestimate the mind but he believed in the unique reason of the heart which affects man’s decision-making and thinking making heart an intuitive, intellectual instinct that is constituted in the innermost mechanism of the soul. Erik Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development — intimacy versus isolation in early adulthood, the sixth stage of Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development showing the importance of intimate relationships in one’s life as mentioned by Santrock (2002). On the other hand, Kokab and Ajmal (2012) mentioned Maslow’s idea of love and belongingness as one of the important needs in humans revealing how love is important to survive after biological and safety needs are fulfilled. Karandashev (2015) emphasized the impact of culture on people’s experience of romantic love where he subdivides culture as collectivism and individualism. These two categories are represented by Western and Eastern countries. In the field of science, love is described as an attachment that is distinct in that it is primarily associated with activation of a functional region of the brain known as the ventral palladium, which is associated with vasopressin-mediated pair-bonding (Fisher, et. al, 2006).
With these at hand, it is interesting to find the definition of love through current psychological, cultural, and biological perspectives. As to humans are able to define love personally, it is still worth to study how the science and society defines love in general that in turn will provide a broader understanding of this construct, feeling, or behavior.
Purpose of the Study
Love — its nature and meaning, is a general occurrence and one of the enduring philosophical themes. This leads the researcher to give a bird’s eye view in terms of psychological, scientific, and sociocultural aspects. Knowing how individuals define this construct, to communicate the existing and research-based definition of love through this paper is still necessary.
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