Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, April 23, 2017

1st Installment Section 8 - Ivana Deveaux

In my first installment I want to talk about the different views on the philosophy of love. There are different types of love, you do not feel the same love for spouse that you feel for your mother or father but we still use the same word. Using the same word causes a confusion because the person receiving it does not know which exact feeling of love you're referring to.

There are 7 words to defined the different states of love:
Storge: natural affection, the love you feel with family
Philia: the love for friends
Eros: sexual and erotic love
Agape: unconditional love
Ludus: childish love or playful love, flirting
Pragma: Long standing love, the love in a marriage
Philautia: self love

Really what is love? Some of us have been in love and many others have not. The philosophy of love is the field of social philosophy and ethics that tries to explain the nature of love. There are large number of different theories trying to explain love. It would be hard to explain love to someone who has never been experienced it.There are theories explaining love to be healthy, a gift from God and some theories consider love to be a mystery.

“He whom love touches not walks in darkness”- Plato

Philia is born out of Eros, and that in turn feeds back into Eros to strengthen and to develop it. Like philosophy itself, Eros aims at transcending human existence, connecting it with the eternal, and thereby at achieving the only species of immortality that is open to us as human beings. Not only does Philia strengthen and develop Eros, but it also transforms it from a lust for possession into an impulse for philosophy. If erotic love can be transformed into friendship love therefore it can awake something of shared understanding.

Plato’s theory of love was explained in the Phaedrus and the Symposium. Like many Greeks in his era, Plato is most interested in the same-sex desire that can exist between an older and a younger man, but there is no reason to suppose that his theory of love does not also apply to other kinds of erotic relationships. That having been said, Plato distinguishes the kind of love that can give rise to philia from a baser kind of love that is enjoyed by those who are more given to the body than to the soul.

In the Symposium, Socrates argues that, “if love is not of nothing, then it is of something, and if it is of something, then it is of something that is desired, and therefore of something that is not possessed.” He then referred to a conversation he had with Diotima.  Love, said Diotima, “must not be confused with the object of love, which, in contrast to love itself, is perfectly beautiful and perfectly good. If love desires but does not possess beautiful and good things, then love cannot, as most people think, be a god. The aim of loving beautiful and good things is to possess them, because the possession of beautiful and good things is happiness, and happiness is an end-in-itself.”
Therefore love can be many things when it looking at it from a philosophical point of view.



  1. I think this information proves that love, or the concept thereof, exists in many various forms and not just sexual and sensual love. I've always been more fascinated by love based on desire and happiness, and I've always believed (and still do) that love is always about one's self. In relationships, for example, one person loves another person in the romantic way because the desire for that special someone makes that person feel good and "complete".

  2. Trevor Hutchens #10
    I think you're spot on with this approach. Philosophically, love can be dissected and perceived in many different ways. Some do believe that love has a direct link to happiness, which it does, but is not solely happiness. This is what makes love the way it is.

  3. I can agree with you on this post Ivana. Although love is different love is kind it indeed can be portrayed in several different ways. And for this, this is why it is so complex! Love conquers all. :)

  4. "Philia is born out of Eros" - not the other way around?

    Of those seven types of love, which (if any) captures the sense of love of life, expressed as virtuous living in all those seven ways? Do we need another term?