30 Jan 2015

2. Love is "Yes" to life

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Of course, many philosophers talk about love and say many things about it: what distinguishes love from other emotions (but, is love just an emotion?), what are the main characteristics of love (but, can we grasp a whole from its parts?), what is the difference between true love and false love (but, can love be false?), which different kinds of love exist (but, can we distinguish kinds, in a thing we do not distinguish first?), the value of love (but fixing a value to something gives for granted, rather than explaining, defining this something) and so on.

Philosophers, as well as poets and novelists, can very beautifully and very differently talk about love. But, my point is: what do we grasp for real, behind and within the metaphors and the abstract reasoning their words evoke? Again: what human reality does the word “love” indicate?

So, giving words a try – and trying to make them sound philosophical enough, here is my attempt for an answer: love is a “yes” to life. A "yes" that must be lived, beyond words (which doesn't imply always in silence), in order to be "translated" into reality; a "yes" that must be shared with other human beings (and there are many ways of sharing), in order to be "translated" into something understandable. Passing from words to facts, from sentences to actions and reactions, if and when nothing gets "lost in translation" we have perfect love.

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Laura Capogna

I am a philosophical practitioner living and working in Rome. I am a member of Phronesis, the Italian Association for philosophical counselling (www.phronesis-cf.com).

I entered Phronesis (in 2011) for two reasons: to learn if and how it was possible to put philosophy into practice again, at the service of common people in everyday life, like Socrates and the ancient Greeks did; and to meet, and become part of a community of modern, living philosophers, with whom I could share, compare, and “put on trial” my vision of the world. I accepted Ran Lahav’s proposal to work on the Agora project for these same reasons.