Love as Passion: The Codification of Intimacy

Love as Passion: The Codification of Intimacy

by Niklas Luhmann
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674539230

ISBN-13: 9780674539235

Pub. Date: 01/28/1987

Publisher: Harvard

Niklas Luhmann is one of the greatest of contemporary social theorists, and his ultimate aim is to develop a conceptual vocabulary supple enough to capture what he sees as the unprecedented structural characteristics of society since the eighteenth century. Ours is a society in which individuals can determine their own sense of self and function rather than have

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Overview

Niklas Luhmann is one of the greatest of contemporary social theorists, and his ultimate aim is to develop a conceptual vocabulary supple enough to capture what he sees as the unprecedented structural characteristics of society since the eighteenth century. Ours is a society in which individuals can determine their own sense of self and function rather than have that predetermined by the strict hierarchy of former times, and a key element in the modern sense of individuality is our concept of love, marriage, and lasting personal relationships. This book takes us back to when passionate love took place exclusively outside of marriage, and Luhmann shows by lively references to social customs and literature how a language and code of behavior were developed so that notions of love and intimacy could be made the essential components of married life. This intimacy and privacy made possible by a social arrangement in which home is where the heart is provides the basis for a society of individuals--the foundation for the structure of modern life. Love is now declared to be unfathomable and personal, yet we love and suffer--as Luhmann shows--according to cultural imperatives.

People working in a variety of fields should find this book of major interest. Social scientists will be intrigued by Luhmann's original and provocative insights into the nature of modern marriage and sexuality, and by the presentation of his theories in concrete, historical detail. His work should also be capital for humanists, since Luhmann's concern throughout is to develop a semantics for passionate love by means of extensive references to literary texts of the modern period. In showing our moral life in the process of revising itself, he thereby sheds much light on the development of drama and the novel in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674539235
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
01/28/1987
Series:
Cultural Memory in the Present Series
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.33(h) x 0.93(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the English Edition1
Introduction8
1Society and Individual: Personal and Impersonal Relationships12
2Love as a Generalized Symbolic Medium of Communication18
3The Evolution of Communicative Capacities34
4The Evolution of the Semantics of Love41
5Freedom to Love: From the Ideal to the Paradox48
6The Rhetoric of Excess and the Experience of Instability58
7From Galantry to Friendship76
8Plaisir and Amour: The Primary Difference84
9Love versus Reason94
10En Route to Individualization: A State of Ferment in the Eighteenth Century97
11The Incorporation of Sexuality109
12The Discovery of Incommunicability121
13Romantic Love129
14Love and Marriage: The Ideology of Reproduction145
15What Now? Problems and Alternatives155
16Love as a System of Interpenetration172
Notes179
Index240

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