11 July 2009

Kant and Love

Kant put forth an idea that love is nothing more than the legal co-ownership of physical parts. Many philosophers have bemoaned this idea, notably Horkheimer, as though love is an actual obtainable ideal. I put forth that love is nothing more than acquiring goods in return for services, a form of capitalism, if you will.

Zeus would impregnate females on whim. De Sade used love for the purpose of exploring sexual taboos. English Parliament sought to marry its "virgin queen" to secure power over the French.

Throughout history love has been nothing more than utilitarian, except in the prose of the poets.

I state that love does not exist, but is simply a tool to achieve "something": power, riches, social standing, sexual fulfillment, and/or lust. I should have better defined "love". Love in the romantic sense can be best defined as a complex neurochemical response, one that can be mimicked by chocolate. The endorphins create a "pleasant" feeling, and one could argue, an addiction. This would explain the "heart break" phenomena.

My post is a bit of a Catch-22, on rethink. Stating that love is an acquisition of goods is almost equating it to the classic psychological question of "if you give a beggar money, do you do it for the beggar or yourself?" I suppose it opens love up to the Ontological question.

But, based on our knowledge of neurotransmitters, the endorphins and such, it does seem plausible that Kant was truly on to something more universal than the arranged marriages of his time.

I also agree that familial love is a bit different, but that too could be a form of endorphin addiction, though I would suspect that a different sort of neurotransmitter is involved. But, if familial love was without boundaries, without a give and take of wants, there would not be estranged families.

In all, love seems to be a complex weave of neuron firings, social more' fulfillment, and desired resolution of a want.


  1. how un-romantic *sigh*

    but what of nymphomaniacs who don't care for chocolate? i think there's a lot we don't know about neurotransmitters. at least, from personal experience, they don't feel the same at all.

    historically, yeah, that's the way it was- a kind of barter. i like to think we're a little more evolved now. some of us anyway. (;

    you can have sex wth someone and then fall in love with them, too. hopefully that happened some of the time. it's just one facet of what makes love feel so complete.

  2. I wrote something beautiful here, but the back button erased it.