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Conceptual Considerations of Unrequited Love

Conceptual Considerations of Unrequited Love.

Presuming unrequited love has a nature, it should be, to some extent at least, describable within the concepts of language. However, as philosophically beguiling as unrequited love itself is, so is what’s meant by an appropriate language of description. Such considerations provide the analysis of unrequited love with its first principles and invoke the philosophy of language, of the relevance and appropriateness of meanings. Does it exist and if so, is it knowable, comprehensible, and describable? Unrequited love may be knowable and comprehensible to others, as understood in the phrases, “I am in love”, “I love you”, but what “love” means in these sentences may not be analysed further: that is, love as a concept, especially when unrequited, is irreducible – an axiomatic or self-evident state of affairs that warrants no further intellectual intrusion.

As discussed in my post Unrequited Love and Twin Flames, paranormal interference in relationships sometimes comes in the form of a definite entity, like an extra-marital affair, where the third person sweeps your partner off his/her feet and compels them to cheat. The presence of this form is witnessed by one or both partners and leads the relationship to the point of no return, forming a base for unrequited love. This interference surrounds the relationship itself, and yet remains unseen. However, there is a clear sense of falling apart of the relationship in a perverse kind of theatrical drama. The ‘love-bite’ kind of Cupid love connection hurts the lovers in ways that defy rational explanation.

That aside, the epistemology of unrequited love asks how we may understand love, how we may know it, whether it is possible or plausible to make statements about others or ourselves being in love because it touches on the philosophical issue of private knowledge versus public behaviour, etc. Again, the philosophy of language and theories of the emotions are intimately connected to the epistemology of love. If love is purely an emotional condition, it is plausible to argue that it remains a private phenomenon incapable of being accessed by others, except through an expression of language, and language may be a poor indicator of an emotional state both for the listener and the subject.

A statement such as “I am in love” is irreducible to other statements because it is a non-propositional utterance, hence its veracity is beyond examination, emotivists would hold. Similarly, phenomenologists may present love as a non-cognitive phenomenon. Love itself brings about the continuous emergence of ever-higher value in the object, just like it were streaming out from the object of its own accord, without any exertion, even without wishing on the part of the unrequited lover. The lover is passive before the beloved.

Historically, in the Western tradition, love is characterized by a series of elevations, in which animalistic desire or base lust is superseded by a more intellectual conception of love which also is surpassed by what may be construed by a theological vision of love that transcends sensual attraction and mutuality. Thereafter, there have been supporters and detractors of this kind of love, as well as a host of alternative theories—including theory of true love reflecting what was known as ‘two bodies and one soul.’ Even today, we undeniably find love being discussed in songs, movies and novels—humorously or seriously. Love plays an enormous and unavoidable role in our uncountable cultures; it is a constant theme of maturing life and a vibrant theme for youth. Philosophically, since the time of the Ancient Greeks, the nature of love has been a mainstay in philosophy.

The claim that unrequited love, or any form of love cannot be examined is different from the claim that love should not be subject to examination-that it should be left out of a dutiful respect for its mysteriousness, its awesome, divine, or romantic nature and put or left beyond the mind’s reach. But if it is agreed that there is such a thing as “love” conceptually speaking, when people present statements concerning love, or admonitions such as “she should show more love,” then a philosophical examination seems appropriate: is it synonymous with certain patterns of behavior, of inflections in the voice or manner, or by the apparent pursuit and protection of a particular value?

Your comments are welcome. They are my inspiration.


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