Love as Passion: The Codification of Intimacy

Love as Passion: The Codification of Intimacy

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Stanford University Press
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Love as Passion: The Codification of Intimacy

"I believe that Luhmann is the only true genius in the social sciences alive today. By this, I mean that not only is he smart, extremely productive, and amazingly erudite, though all this is true enough, but also that he has, in the course of an improbable career, elaborated a theory of the social that completely reinvents sociology and destroys its most cherished dogmas." So wrote Stephen Fuchs in his Contemporary Sociology review of Luhmann's major theoretical work, Social Systems (Stanford, 1995). In this volume, Luhmann analyzes the evolution of love in Western Europe from the seventeenth century to the present.
"Luhmann's unique, monumental, theory-building effort is best described as a consistent attempt to deploy the tools and the inspirations of three strategies: modern information theory, structuralism, and evolutionary theory. . . . Perhaps nothing conveys more poignantly Luhmann's unusual blend of scientific precision with artistic sensibility than his replacement of Parson's 'reciprocity of perspective' with his own 'interpersonal interpenetration.' The first is cool, calculating, cognitive, and dispassionate; the second connotes a richness of relationship that leaves no human faculty unmoved. . . . Luhmann's work is important because, arguably, it comes closer than all other sociological strategies to restoring the lost link between academically reputable social theorizing and the subjective experience of life." —American Journal of Sociology
"There is a dearth of analytical writing about the emotions and sentiments that seem to motivate most human action, at least in everyday discussion, although some researchers are making some efforts to remedy this situation. Luhmann's Love as Passion is an outstanding contribution to this emerging trend . . . full of novel information and fascinating ideas." —Contemporary Sociology

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804732536
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 07/01/1998
Series: Cultural Memory in the Present Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the English Edition 1

Introduction 8

1 Society and Individual 12
Personal and Impersonal Relationships

2 Love as a Generalized Symbolic Medium of Communication 18

3 The Evolution of Communicative Capacities 34

4 The Evolution of the Semantics of Love 41

5 Freedom to Love 48
From the Ideal to the Paradox

6 The Rhetoric of Excess and the Experience of Instability 58

7 From Galantry to Friendship 76

8 Plaisir and Amour 84
The Primary Difference

9 Love versus Reason 94

10 En Route to Individualization 97
A State of Ferment in the Eighteenth Century

11 The Incorporation of Sexuality 109

12 The Discovery of Incommunicability 121

13 Romantic Love 129

14 Love and Marriage 145
The Ideology of Reproduction

15 What Now? 155
Problems and Alternatives

16 Love as a System of Interpenetration 172

Notes 179

Index 240

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