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Humanities LibreTexts

2.1: What is love?

  • Page ID
    222904
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    Straw sombrero hat associated with Civil Rights campaign, Camden, Alabama
    Straw sombrero hat associated with Civil Rights campaign, Camden, Alabama“. by Unidentified is marked with CC0 1.0.

    What is love?

    Merriam-Webster defines love as:

    1a(1): strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties//maternal love for a child

    (2): attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers//After all these years, they are still very much in love.

    (3): affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests//love for his old schoolmates

    b: an assurance of affection//give her my love
    2: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion//love of the sea
    3a: the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration//baseball was his first love
    b(1): a beloved person : DARLING. —often used as a term of endearment
    (2)British —used as an informal term of address
    4a: unselfish loyal and benevolent, concern for the good of another: such as
    (1): the fatherly concern of God for humankind
    (2): brotherly concern for others
    b: a person’s adoration of God
    5: a god (such as Cupid or Eros) or personification of love
    6: an amorous episode : LOVE AFFAIR
    7: the sexual embrace : COPULATION
    8: a score of zero (as in tennis)
    9: capitalized, Christian Science : GOD

    Love has been expressed almost endlessly through art. Why?

    Can you think of pieces of art, images, or videos that remind you of love? Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker discuss the French Enlightenment artist’s “Fragonard,” or “The Meeting.” It is part of a series of paintings illustrating the evolution of love. Harris and Zucker over interesting context as to how these paintings we now experience through media or museums were once a part of people’s (albeit exceptionally wealthy people and those who worked for them) everyday lives.


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