LOVE Love is a fascinating subject, and one which is difficult to understand. Love can go on at two levels: #1 the level of the sense appetite (this sort of love is simply a feeling or emotion) as when one is physically attracted to someone, and #2 at the level of the intellectual appetite (this sort of love is not a feeling, but a wanting what is good for the other). Superficial romantic love falls in the first category; it seems to be an indescribable feeling, but feelings in general have certain individual aspects which cannot be put into words (the feeling of satisfaction and pleasure that a tennis player has when he or she smashes the ball is hard to put in words, and is not exactly that same as that of a basketball player who swishes a difficult shot; still we can call the feeling in both cases one of satisfaction/pleasure). Philosophy looks to what is common to all, and thus to what can be put into words. Therefore one cannot expect the discussion below to describe exactly what you feel when you are in love (any more than a description of taking a bath corresponds exactly to what you feel when you take a bath). Moreover, the following discussion will set aside the aspect of the physical attraction (#1 above) to focus on #2 which is involved in those cases of romantic love which is “more than skin deep”. This discussion applies to all kinds of loving and liking (understood here as a weaker form of loving): that between friends, family members, etc. Whenever the expression “I love X ” is used two kinds of love are implied. Ex. #1: If one says “I love wine” obviously one does not love the wine for its own sake, but for oneself. Thus I love wine means “I love wine for me”. Ex. #2: Or say you hate wine, but your mother likes it, and on her birthday you go into a liquor store and say “I’d like a bottle of wine”. Here the “I’d like a bottle of wine” means “I like a bottle for my mother”. The love which you have for yourself in #1 and for your mother in #2 is called “love of friendship” (LF). The love (or liking) one has for the wine is not a love of friendship, but is called “love of concupiscence” (LC). One can love a person with LC. You tell them “I love you”, but what you mean is that “I love you for me (because you please me or are useful to me)”. Here the person is loved like the wine in ex. #1. This kind of selfish love reduces the person to an object. It corresponds to a situation where one is exploiting the other person. One can love a person with LF. Here “I love you” means “I love you and want good things for you”. The good things one wants for the other, one loves with LC; but the person, one loves with LF. However, this situation can be subdivided into three types, because there are three kinds of goods one can want for the other: 1. useful good; 2. pleasant good; 3. honorable good. Correspondingly there are three kinds of friendship. 1. Useful goods are things like picking someone up from school, or feeding their cat while they are on vacation, or helping them study. 2. Pleasant goods include things like playing tennis together, or going to the movies together, or participating in various different clubs or societies where the purpose is having a good time. 3. Honorable goods are the best things in life – they give a person “inner beauty” and they make us look up to that person). One wishes for one’s true friends not only useful good (such as that they get a new car or a good job), and pleasant goods (that you can share good time with them, like going camping together), but also the best things in life which lie in goods of character (as Socrates insists: who you are is more important that what you have). You want your true friends to be honest, perseverant, kind, generous, knowledgeable, “gutsy”, etc., and these are the best things you can want for them. The first two kinds of LF are almost reducible to LC. This is because when a person is no longer useful to one (1), or fun to be with (2), one quickly loses interest in them. For example (1), if one was “study buddies” with someone, and that person transfers into a completely different major, one won’t make much of an effort to see that person any more (one will say ‘hi’, but lacking the common link of helping each other study, interest in the person is lost). Or (2) say one played tennis with another person, and that person gets really out of shape, you won’t call them up to play tennis if you can find someone else to whom you are better matched. LF (1) and (2) is not exactly the same as the situation of exploitation mentioned above: it is a matter of “you rub my back and I’ll rub yours,” and not out and out exploitation which would be you rub my back, and who cares about yours. Still LF (1) and (2) resemble LC (exploitation) since one loves the person to the extent one gets something out of them, and not for themselves. It is only LF (3) which is “true love” for it is only there that one loves the person for who they are, and not for some benefit that one gets from them (be it in the line of utility or pleasure). Characteristic of it is wanting the good for the other without having any eye to getting something out of them. Thus, when your true friends are sick, or their father dies, you go to be with them (or call, etc), even if this takes you away from more agreeable pursuits. Whereas when a friend who is only a useful or pleasant friend is sick or her father dies, you don’t go to be with them (nor do they expect this of you). “True love” then means to love a person for who they are and to want the best things for them. ASSIGNMENT: LOVE OF CONCUPISCENCE VS. LOVE OF FRIENDSHIP 1. Give examples (other than the one’s in the text) in which you identify a) love of friendship toward a person; b) love of concupiscence toward a person; c) love of concupiscence towards a thing. Do not be confused by the fact that in every statement involving love there are two kinds of love involved. Practice example a) love of friendship toward a person: I love Mary (LF), that’s why I’m helping her study her biology. [You don’t have to point out that the good which is loved with LC is that Mary does well in biology.] 2. Give examples of the three different sorts of friendship. 3. Is “mother’s love” (the love mothers have for their children) love of concupiscence, love of friendship, or both? Justify your answer. 4. Is it accurate to say that if one truly loves someone “one accepts them the way that they are”? Justify your answer (the answer may be yes and no). 5. What are some of the different reasons why we sometimes draw back from correcting or giving advice to our friends? Express this in terms of LC/LF.