About Love: Reinventing Romance for our Times

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This book offers insightful observations from a broad range of sources--literary, historical, and personal--to explore the volatile blend of passion, expectation, and confusion that characterizes this most exhilarating and excruciating of human passions--love.

About Love offers observations from a broad range of sources- literary, personal- in this engagingly readable study of the phenomenon of romantic love.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The best book on this most written-on subject to come along in decades. --Los Angeles Daily News

In this wise, witty, adventurous essay, Solomon sheds light on love at first sight, whether opposites attract, counterfeit emotion, the euphemism (and act) of 'sleeping together,' possessiveness, the need of lovers for privacy and the importance of fights in a healthy relationship. --Publishers Weekly

For the generation of lovers that asks, 'How are we to make love last?' --The New York Times Book Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Romantic love may begin with sexual passion, but it is guided and nurtured by ideas the lovers have about their selves and the world, according to this University of Texas philosophy professor. Solomon defines romantic love as an emotional process that is reciprocal and appropriate only between equals. A lover may complement what is best in us, embody values we share or encourage ideals we strive after. In any event, love endures only when it forges a conceptual bond, each person viewing the other's existence as necessary to complete one's self. In this wise, witty, adventurous essay, Solomon sheds light on love at first sight, whether opposites attract, counterfeit emotion, the euphemism (and act) of ``sleeping together,'' possessiveness, the need of lovers for privacy and the importance of fights in a healthy relationship. His re-visioning of love favors Plato's concept of the merger of two souls over Freud's view of love as sublimated erotic feeling. Literary Guild alternate. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872208582
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/30/2006
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 352

Meet the Author

Robert C. Solomon, (1942-2007), was Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Business and Philosophy and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Madison Books edition 11
Introduction: Reinventing Love 13
The Foggers and the Facilitators 20
A Theory of Love 23
1. The Elusive Emotion
The Critical Question 31
"I Love You" 35
Love and Reciprocity 38
Romantic Love 42
Other Cultures 48
The History of Love 54
Love as Identity 62
The Paradox of Love 64
2. Getting Clear (About Love)
Is Love a Feeling? 76
Love and Relationships 82
All or Nothing: The Idealization of Love 88
Love Stories 97
Beauty as the Basis of Love 103
Beyond Romeo and Juliet: Love Among the Elderly 117
3. "Falling in Love"
Love and its Vicissitudes: "The Real Thing" 129
The Joys of Sex 134
Love at First Sight 140
The Perils and Pleasures of Romantic Attraction: Why We Fall in Love 147
Reasons for Love 153
Love and Fantasy 160
From Falling to Being in Love: The Coordination Problem 168
Sleeping Together: Snugglers and Solipsists 174
Loving and in Love 179
4. The Self in Love
The Identity Theory of Love 194
The Indeterminacy of the Self 199
The Romantic Creation of the Self 204
Sex and the Shared Self 209
The Importance of Privacy 217
Romantic Roles 223
The Dimensions of Identity ("Do Opposites Attract?") 231
Private Virtues 238
From Dialectic to Dynamics 249
5. The Dynamics of Love: Making Love Last
Caring and the Myth of Selfishness 255
Love and Time 262
Intimacy 272
Equality and the Problem of Power 283
Possession and Possessiveness 300
The Importance of Fights in Love 310
Friendship as the Foundation of Love 313
The Meaning of Fidelity 323
The Waning of Love, and Keeping Love Alive 329
Reinventing Love 343
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