Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Making of Love - Part 2

Philosophy, the 'Love of Knowledge' - as Phil means Love as we all know - has been dominated by men all these years. Consequently the one area where women share an equal platform with men, if not dominate - the Making of *Love*, not only are women completely excluded but the concept of *Love* itself is absent.

I have four Dictionaries of Philosophy from different publishers (Blackwell, Macmillan, Penguin and Oxford). Love isn't in any of these apart from the Oxford. But a pathetically small entry, where even 'gnosticism' is longer (a second century belief which died two centuries later).

And the definition is very negative too '...love has been thought of as reducible either to the sex drive...or to a struggle for power'.

I have two dictionaries of psychology, which coincidentally are the same publisher (Penguin). The earlier one (pub 95) was left by a disturbed Richard Dawkins fan who tried to burn me alive, which thank the Lord I survived, and am here to be able to not only tell the tale but compare the two dictionaries. And again, the Editor did not agree with me in that Love is an ideal to be aspired to. In fact, Psychologists like Philosophers seem to think that this important aspect to our lives has nothing to do with them:
'Psychologists would have been wise to have abdicated responsibility for this term and left to poets.'

But most interestingly, the change in definition from 95-2001 is in the last paragraph of their definition of Love 'Is Love merely an emotive state that results from particular neurochemical actions, and by implication, crassly manipulable?'

Feeling more depressed, I turned my attention to Wikipedia and managed to get the photo above.
Make Love not War.


Phil said...

What on earth are you on about? I warned you to stay away from those mushrooms in the garden!

tatton said...

It's called Philosophy darling. The Love of Wisdom. Don't ask me to define Wisdom though - it's enough work trying to define Love.

You could try the definition of one of my favourite dictionaries on the subject:

'It's a matter of standing back a little from the ephemeral urgencies to take an aphoristic overview that usually embraces both value commitments and beliefs about the general nature of things'.

Or in the Oxford 'Thinking about Thinking'.

Phil said...

I still have no idea what you're on about.