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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Simple, what does the word 'love' actually mean?
    I suspect that it doesn't mean anything specific - I think is probably what we philosophers like to call a family concept following Wittgenstein. That is to say that there are a whole set of things which are instances of love yet there is nothing identifiable within each and every member of the set sufficient to define 'love'. (Compare 'game' - for any proposed definition of 'game' there will be something x such that (1) it is a game and (2) doesn't fall under the definition.)

    That said, just as games have general characterisitics so too, I think, does love. I wouldn't claim to know what love is but I think I can say a few things about it.

    One of the interesting things about love is the following - if you love something x you love it because it has certain characterisitics a, b, and c and because of those characteristics you are prepared to continually invest in it. And this continual investing in x, if you love x, will persist even if something y appears that is better in terms of a, b, and c.

    To give an example; you can fall in love with a girl because she is slim and blonde because on the basis of those characteristics (slimness, blondness) you are prepared to commit to a relationship with her. And, if you loved her initially, you will keep up that commitment should you meet another girl who is slimmer and blonder than she is. If you are prepared to simply leave her when something better comes along (so-to-speak) then that's not a loving thing to do.

    The other thing I think can be said to love is that to love something is to value it, and specifically to value it for non-instrumental reasons. (This is what people are usually trying to get at when they say love is other-directed or selfless but of course that can't be right - people are capable of loving themselves.) So if I love something x it will be because it has some value p for me, and that p is valuable not because I can get some other thing q out of it. I just value p as, to use a Kantian phrase, an end in itself.

    Now I think that I've specified necessary but not sufficient conditions for love. It appears to me that anything which does not meet the above criteria does not qualify as love. Yet if we can imagine something which does meet those criteria but does not qualify as love then clearly I've not got any sufficient conditions. I think we can think of such examples; an example might be a person Smith who thinks it valuable in and of itself to have a university education and is thus prepared to invest 3+ years of his life and a lot of money to get a degree. Does he love the idea of a university education? I don't particularly think so; the value he bestows appears to formal.

    Perhaps what love needs is a kind of emotional valuation? Not terribly sure on this one - generally when love something we get emotionally invested in it but does this have to be case? One thinks of couples who say they love each other but are emotionally distant from one another - are they wrong to say they're in love? Perhaps all this highlights that love is really a family concept.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    How do you know when you've found it..
    I hope the criteria I've spelt out go some way to furnishing you with an answer. Certainly, I wouldn't say I loved someone or something if I couldn't point to anything about them or it that I liked, was prepared to simply discard it if and when something better came along, and if I liked them or it simply because I can get something through them (sex, money, reputation, emotional support or whatever).

    But it's too slippery a concept to meet an adequate definition. Perhaps you think my conception is in some way deficient. All I can really give, ultimately, is a kind of negative test. Say to yourself that you love someone or something ("I love x"); if you know or feel that the proposition is false, then I'd be very confident you're not in love.
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    it means phuck all in tennis
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    It's when you feel like you belong, in the world, as a half of a whole. You can exist on your own, but being with the other half makes everything 'better'.

    Or she lets you stick it in her pooper.
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    For me it means, the amazing stomach feeling when you see that special person's face. It's caring for someone so fundamentally, that you don't care about yourself anymore :/
    love is loving someone so much that you're too scared to tell them in case it ruins your future. <3 ILOVETSR!
 
 
 
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