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We all wonder about the nature of our attraction to other people. Some call it an emotion, others say it is a drive and some even like to call it … . I believe Berit Brogaard, working as a professor of philosophy at the University of Miami, has an interesting approach to this question which I partly agree with. She claims, as many others, that love indeed is an emotion, but that it also can be many other things. It all depends on the context of the situation and what type of love is being referred. She says that it is when love expresses itself as an emotional experience that it is characterized by the sort of deep ecstasy and attachment that, when suddenly interrupted or unreturned, can cause intense suffering. Berit means that love is something so strong that we would give up eternal life for. She supports this claim by referring to the main character in a movie called City of Angels. This character gives up his wings in return for physical sensation, and then loses his one and only beloved in a truck accident. He then says, “I would rather have tasted her lips just once, touched her skin, one time, and made love to her for one night, than spend the rest of my life without ever knowing that.” I believe this makes for a fair point even though being fiction. It greatly implies on the deep suffering love can cause and how hopeless one can feel after such a tragedy.  Another idea of what love is comes from Helen Fisher, whom is an anthropologist and a professor at Rutgers University. She holds that romantic love never is an emotion or feeling. It’s a drive, just like sex and attachment. She argues with the science that romantic love causes an increased activation of neurons in the midbrain that emits dopamine. The dopamine system is by far a more primitive system than the systems of emotions in the brain and the cortical system and therefore romantic love is not an emotion. She also allege that love is way too long-lasting to be an emotion.  However Brogaard diverge in her opinion on the conclusion Fisher makes on the effects of dopamine. She instead claims that dopamine is connected to emotion, not drive. She believes that the chemical is one of the key neurotransmitters in the production of for example anger. It can explain why enraged people act furiously by for example throwing things, shouting and occasionally even kill. Therefore she doesn’t believe that anger is a drive, rather that it’s an emotion. This makes for a very strong discussion with lots of science supporting it from both ends. I believe that whether it is an emotion or a drive etc is up to one’s opinion at the moment and that it is something that will discussed even more in the future.  Furthermore I want to go deeper into what causes love. Fisher whom I previously mentioned has also published a proposition of the 3 different stages of love. The first stage is lust and it is in both men and women driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. The second stage of the ladder of love is attraction. This is supposedly the stage where you get truly in love and the person of interest is all you can bear to think of. She divides the attraction stage into 3 chemicals, with the first one of them being adrenaline. Adrenaline makes for the initial process of falling in love with someone. It increases one’s blood levels and is often somewhat easy to spot due to it’s effect of sweating, redness and nervosity. The second chemical in love’s second stage is dopamine which I talked about earlier. Shortly said it is a chemical that stimulates the idea of desire and reward by giving extra pleasure. Signs of active dopamine is focus, less need for things such as food or sleep and also  increased energy. The last chemical in the assemblage is serotonin. It is not as well understood in its effect on love as the other ones, but there is a clear connection between them. Fisher also mentions some consequences of attraction that need to be for it to truly be attraction. They are that true attraction changes the way you think and also that it makes you blind in the sense that you can overlook things which you wouldn’t have before. The last stage of Fisher’s ladder to love is attachment. It is the bond between two persons that makes sure they stay together and also that they feel empathy for one another. She believes that there is at least two major hormones causing this feeling of attachment and they are oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin is a hormone released during the climax of sex and it is believed to increase both the bond and empathy between people. Vasopressin on the other hand is an important chemical in the long-term commitment and is released after sex.  I always put my faith in science, but with love I believe that there is something more to it than just studies and research. I believe in and enjoy reading studies similar to the ones that I’ve just commented on, however I don’t believe that they tell the full story. There is so much more to love than the scientific part of it, something no human can completely grasp. A complete bond which occasionally can cause inhuman things to occur, such as the awareness some experience when a beloved one, even though being far apart, is hurting or dying. A topic worth discussing is the different  aspects or types of love. First and foremost there is the type that most of us associate with the term “love” and it is the feeling or emotion you usually have for a partner and includes such things as sexual attraction, attachment, lust etc. This is the aspect of love that this text is focused on for the purpose of an interesting subject caused by it being a lot more of everything surrounding love in a relationship between partners. Other types of love worth noticing is the love within a family and between family members or also between friends. It is no coincidence that we cry after losing a close one.   

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