What Is Love? Why Do We Love? Scientific Point Of View

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What Is Love? Why Do We Love? Scientific Point Of View
What Is Love? Why Do We Love? Scientific Point Of View

Video: What Is Love? Why Do We Love? Scientific Point Of View

Video: What Is Love? Why Do We Love? Scientific Point Of View
Video: What is Love – scientifically? | Dr. Liat Yakir | TEDxEilat 2023, March
The essence of love
The essence of love

What is love? What is the meaning and essence of love? What makes a person feel love? Each person asked these and many other questions more than once, unable to comprehend the sacred meaning of processes that are purely chemical in nature.

The content of the article

  • 1 What is love
  • 2 Why we love
  • 3 Heart or brain
  • 4 The chemistry of love
  • 5 The essence of love from an evolutionary perspective
  • 6 Typology of love
  • 7 "Eros"
  • 8 "Filya"
  • 9 "Anapa"
  • 10 "Storge"
  • 11 Love in philosophy
  • 12 Erotic
  • 13 Maternal
  • 14 Paternal
  • 15 Bratsk
  • 16 Art and love
  • 17 The essence of love

Here's the thing: love is perhaps the only thing that is equally interesting to science and philosophy. And neither one nor the other gives a general comprehensive answer to the question of what is the essence of love and why it has such power over the mind and heart of a person.

What is love

Love is the most intimate of possible feelings, an endless attraction to a person, a desire to be near, to show concern and sacrifice in relation to him. And while not falling into dependence - to remain an integral, internally free person.

All reflections on it come down to approximately this definition of love: from philosophical essays to pop love stories. And this is an example of the so-called "healthy" love - when feelings for another person do not deprive one of reason and do not force one to think and act to the detriment of one's own interests.

But each person's understanding of love is individual, and this is absolutely normal. Someone wants to spend with their soulmate every morning, and someone is content with meeting once every couple of months, but each of them loves his partner in his own way - at least if he himself considers it love.

It's hard to describe love in words. To understand love, it is necessary to experience it, and not everyone who has experienced it admits it to himself, but everyone who admitted it to himself definitely experienced it. Although the proponents of the glass of water theory refute this feeling in principle. They only see sexual satisfaction.

Why we love2

Because we want spiritual closeness. A person wants to find a kindred spirit, someone who would accept us with all our shortcomings, and in whom we ourselves could find an outlet.

Persian philosopher Omar Khayyam said: "In a loved one, even flaws are liked, and in an unloved, even virtues irritate." Some see this as the essence of love: unaccountable deep feelings for a person, not so much "blind" as tolerant. Of course, no one should ever idealize their partner, but the point is that we are not ready to forgive or justify the shortcomings of a loved one, but to accept.


Often a lover, faced with a partner's shortcomings, says to himself: “What can I do, I have chosen such a person,” and he … is wrong. Because love is anything, but definitely not a choice, at least not consciously. Perhaps this is why it is so difficult for us to end an abusive relationship, forget an old love, or let go of a person who does not love us. Because our heart decided everything for us.

We give the most complete definition of the word "love" only in our article by reference.

Heart or brain3

Love, like any other feeling or emotion, appears in the head. Prose, but true. There is even a popular idea among some people in science that love is a disease. Indeed, the behavior of a person in love is often very similar to that of patients in psychiatric hospitals. And yet love is, rather, not a pathology, but quite the opposite.

Of course, to say that love is born in the heart is nothing more than a beautiful metaphor, and yet it is worth noting that the heart has something to do with love. The heart reacts to the state of falling in love very violently - by increasing the frequency of contractions. In other words, when we see the object of sighing, the heart begins to beat faster. This, in turn, causes blood flow (which is why we blush or feel a little dizzy).

But a similar reaction is observed in other areas of our body: when we look at a loved one, our pupils increase, our breathing intercepts (we can equally blame the heart and lungs for this), and butterflies in the stomach are also the result of blood flow, which is caused an increase in endorphins.

This means that love is not just a brain or a heart, but a whole hormonal explosion that, to one degree or another, spreads to the entire human body.

the essence of love
the essence of love

In support of the theory that love is nothing more than a disease, the fact that each subsequent love makes us react to this event less violently, that is, we develop a kind of immunity, also speaks. And if first love and falling in love often arises at first sight and involves as many as 12 parts of the brain, then over the years (and experience), love becomes less unbridled and deeper.

Chemistry of love4

Hormones are responsible for the physical condition of a person in love. And this is not only endorphin - the "hormone of joy", but also:

  • Dopamine is a hormone responsible for feelings of pleasure;
  • Oxytocin is a hormone that affects muscle fibers;
  • Adrenaline is a hormone that is produced in emergency situations;
  • Vasopressin is a hormone that increases the volume of blood in the vessels.

A cocktail of these hormones causes a person to feel the so-called euphoria - "chemistry of love" - bliss and elation.

By and large, the production of these hormones makes a person feel good at the sight of an attractive object, that is, we love not so much a person as our state when thinking about him. Well, scientifically, of course.

The same hormones and in the same volume, by the way, are produced in us during orgasm. Conclusions are not difficult to draw.


The essence of love from the point of view of evolution5

Since the feeling of falling in love is so similar to what a person experiences during an orgasm, it is impossible not to think about the fact that there is a connection between these processes. And it really is.

The essence of love from the point of view of biology and evolution is to stimulate the basic instinct, that is, the need to continue the race.

Man is one of the few creatures on the planet capable of experiencing an orgasm, as well as subject to feelings (including love). It is this - sex and love - that is the reason that man is still multiplying.

If animals are still subject to instincts, and their desire to leave offspring is caused by nature, then man has long since moved away from the format of interaction for the sake of offspring.

With the development of the brain, a person has largely moved away from his natural origin. Sex and affection for him are no longer a necessity, but an opportunity to experience pleasant sensations. It turns out that love is now a kind of driving force of evolution.

Typology of love6

But enough science. What is love is also a poetic question. People have been in search of an answer to it for a long time.

The ancient Greeks derived a whole classification of types of love, which to this day has not lost its relevance. According to this classification, love is of the following types:

the essence of love
the essence of love

Eros 7

It was from this word that the well-known "erotica" arose. Eros is love-passion, a physiological attraction to a person, that love that arises between two people passionately involved with each other. The constant companions of such love are sacrifice, jealousy, drama and pathos, but that is why it is so bright and lies at the heart of all love dramas we know (from ancient to Shakespeare's).

"Filya" 8

Love-friendship is a feeling based on spirituality. This love is more noble: it is based on mutual respect and understanding in relationships. People converge on the basis of personal sympathy, common views and interests, pleasant communication.

"Anapa" 9

The source of this love is entirely the brain. This love is built on an objective assessment of the merits and demerits of a person, there is no place for emotions - only reason. This love is not as poetic as eros or filia, but it is definitely more durable, serious and creative.

"Storge" 10

This love is based on family ties. This is how a mother loves her children, a brother loves his sister, and a husband loves his wife. This is a gentle and calm love, which is based on trust.

Love in philosophy11

Psychoanalyst and follower of Freud's ideas, philosopher Erich Fromm, in his famous work entitled "The Art of Love" also asked questions about what love is, what is its essence and what is the spiritual component of this feeling. Like the ancient Greeks, he understood that love can have a completely different character depending on the type of relationship, personality characteristics and on who we feel this love for.

In the typology of love according to Erich Fromm, 6 types of love are distinguished: erotic, maternal, paternal, brotherly, love for parents, love for God.

With regard to the relationship between a man and a woman, we can talk about the following types and manifestations of love:



This is a common name for feelings between a man and a woman. The same as "eros" among the ancient Greeks. Often it is subdivided into infatuation, love and passion. Experiencing erotic love, you want not only to experience emotions, but also to feel, touch, possess your partner. This feeling is the most demanding and short-lived. However, it can result in love of a different nature if the partners have been together for a long time.

Maternal 13

This kind of love is more inherent in women. Mother's love is distinguished by sympathy, feelings, care. This is the love that you feel not so much in words as you feel physically or through your actions. Like a mother, a woman seeks to gently control her partner, monitors his habits or diet, and then her erotic love becomes maternal.

Paternal 14

This is love, which is based, like the father's behavior, care, support and education. Such love is usually inherent in men, especially those who are much older than women. In this feeling there is no place for "motherly" lisps and tenderness, only pragmatism and a desire to teach a partner to understand this world.

Bratskaya 15

This love is more like friendship - the Greek "filia". Brothers and sisters are people who grow up and are brought up together. Quarrels may arise between them, but nevertheless these are people who hold tightly to each other and feel kinship among themselves, can be frank and honest with each other.

Such love does not always imply sexual interest, and in partnerships this love is rather not erotic, but friendly. Psychologists believe that most of a long-term relationship sooner or later becomes brotherly love. It is this kind of love that unites couples who are together for a long time and harmoniously.


Art and love16

With "The Art of Love" everything is clear: love in the prism of this work appears as a multifaceted feeling, and is embodied in completely different ways. It is the same with love in art.

Art also denounces love of all sorts: love of a man and a woman, love of a mother, love for the Motherland or for God. One thing is important: love is almost always something sublime and beautiful that has meaning.

Each piece of art shows the personal attitude of its author. He experienced love, whether it was his first love or a broken heart, and it was these experiences that made him create something that continues to delight people hundreds of years later.

Writers, artists and musicians talk about forbidden love, about first love, about former love, about non-reciprocal love and about love that makes you unhappy. But rarely does any of them present love as something negative, despite the power it has in relation to human life.

Even with all the destructiveness and danger that love is fraught with, it continues to be sung. Because no matter how we relate to the influence of love on our life, we understand that, even for a short moment, it makes us the happiest.

The essence of love17

You can treat love in different ways: perceive it as a disease, as an engine of evolution, as a set of chemical components, or as the highest and most beautiful feeling in the world. Whatever the attitude towards love and its essence, everything somehow comes down to the fact that love makes us alive.

It is love that makes a person create and destroy, laugh and cry, bliss and suffer. Almost all works of art revolve around the theme of love, and it was love that inspired a person to create them.

Love makes us experience other emotions as well: from jealousy to euphoria, which means that the essence of love lies in the fact that it fills a person's life with meaning.

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