Love

Issue #18 — 4.3 minute read

👋 Hey phi-lazy-phers

Love is a complicated topic to cover in under five minutes, especially considering we all have varying experiences with it. Many of us have had our hearts shattered by someone we loved; many of us have felt the pain of loved ones passing; many of us have people testing our love on a regular basis; many have been told that who they love is unacceptable; many of us even struggle to love ourselves most days. But hopefully, many of us still experience the positive parts of love more often than not.

Philosophers of the past and present have also looked at love through an array of lenses. Knowing there’s a wide range of how people feel about this topic, let’s dive in.


Friedrich Nietzsche

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.

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Fyodor Dostoevski

Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.

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Rumi

Love is the whole thing. We are only pieces.

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Hannah Arendt

Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than its rarity that it is not only apolitical but antipolitical, perhaps the most powerful of all antipolitical forces.

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Boethius

Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law.

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Paul Tillich

The first duty of love is to listen.

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Jean-Paul Sartre

You now it's quite a job starting to love somebody. You have to have energy, generosity, blindness. There is even a moment, in the very beginning, when you have to jump across a precipice: if you think about it you don't do it.

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W. Somerset Maugham

We are not the same person this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.

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Jean Pierre Claris De Florian

Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime.

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Anaïs Nin

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.

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Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Love does not consist of gazing at one another, but in looking outward in the same direction.

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Seneca

[Nature] instilled in us a mutual love and made us compatible … we stem from a common source. Our fellowship is very similar to an arch of stones, which would fall apart, if they did not reciprocally support each other.

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Erich Fromm

There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started out with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet which fails so regularly, as love.

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Soren Kierkegaard

Don’t forget to love yourself.


I ended with that Kierkegaard quote for a specific reason. There’s no shortage of metaphors on the importance of loving yourself first but my favorite is the old saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

It doesn’t matter if your current view of love is in step with Rumi or if it leans more toward Fromm, we could all spend more time filling our own cups with self-love just as Kierkegaard suggested. When we begin to truly love ourselves, we have more love to give to others and greater strength to survive life’s continual and inevitable heartbreaks.

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✌️ Until next week, happy philosophizing.


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