The Pursuit of Love: The Meaning in Life

The Pursuit of Love: The Meaning in Life

by Irving Singer
     
 

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In his widely acclaimed trilogy The Nature of Love, Irving Singer traced the development of the concept of love in history and literature from the Greeks to the twentieth century. Now in a sequel to his previous work, Singer explores a different approach. A "systematic mapping" of the various facets of love, the present volume is an extended essay that

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Overview

In his widely acclaimed trilogy The Nature of Love, Irving Singer traced the development of the concept of love in history and literature from the Greeks to the twentieth century. Now in a sequel to his previous work, Singer explores a different approach. A "systematic mapping" of the various facets of love, the present volume is an extended essay that offers a philosophical and psychiatric theory of his own. Rich in insight into literature, the history of ideas, and the complexities of our being, The Pursuit of Love is a thought-provoking inquiry into fundamental aspects of all human relationships.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Love is freedom in the midst of conditionality,'' declares humanistic philosopher Singer in a wise, lucid, profound meditation on the essential role of love in our lives. Disputing both Freud and Sartre, who believed that all love is at bottom self-love, the MIT professor regards love as the principal means by which we seek affective relations to persons, things or ideals that have value and importance to us. Choosing illustrative examples from literature, opera, film and religion, Singer ( The Nature of Love ) plumbs the diverse manifestations of universal emotion--sexual love, love of self, parental and filial love, friendship, love of pets, of nature, of humanity and God. Although Singer eschews self-help advice, readers may derive practical guidance from his analysis of interdependent love relationships whereby each partner bestows meaning and value on the other without sacrificing autonomy. (May)
Library Journal
This book builds on Singer's three-volume The Nature of Love (LJ 5/1/66, LJ 11/15/ 84, LJ 11/15/87) and his Meaning in Life (Free Pr., 1991). In the latter, he held that meaning lies in the gratification and fulfillment we find in pursuing and attaining freely chosen goals. In this volume, he first distinguishes persons, things, and ideals and then, in terms of these concepts, discusses sexual love, parental and filial love, friendship, and love of one's nation, of humankind, of the cosmos, and of God. He analyzes different aspects of love, such as wanting to love vis--vis wanting to be loved; the libidinal, erotic, and romantic; love as merging with another person; and love as respecting another person's uniqueness and autonomy. Singer draws on a variety of disciplines to illustrate the concrete content of his carefully stated analyses. Highly recommended for large libraries and scholars in general.-Robert Hoffman, York Coll., CUNY
Booknews
A sequel to the author's trilogy, The Nature of Love (U. of Chicago Press)--offering a more personal, extended essay on the different kinds of love and the different kinds of needs for love. Singer is professor of philosophy at MIT. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801852404
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
01/28/1994
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
204
Sales rank:
751,120
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

"Love is not merely a contributor—one among others—to a meaningful life. In its own way it may underlie all other forms of meaning."—from The Pursuit of Love

Johns Hopkins University Press

What People are saying about this

Arnold H. Modell

The Pursuit of Love is a unique achievement in that it demonstrates the relation between love, value, and meaning. It is overall a work of great wisdom that I found to be illuminating and personally enriching.

W. Jackson Bate

Written by the foremost authority on the concept of love, this new work is destined to become a classic.

Alan Soble

The Pursuit of Love is both delicious and cerebral. Its stars are Freud and Plato and so, delightfully, is as much about the mysterious agitations of sex as it is about the spirituality oflove. Singer is clearly the Stephen Hawking of the metaphysics and history of love.

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