Love is one of the most complex emotions that a human can feel. It can feel as dreamy and magical as strawberry cotton candy or as a deep and painful sea of self-pity and despair. It can be anything from the love of a good friend to the love of a child to the love of a partner. When writing an essay about love, it is important to try and approach it in a unique way. This can be done by looking at it from different angles. For example, a good essay about love might focus on how your partner’s annoying habits drive you insane and help you understand them better.
Philosophers have a long history of trying to understand what love is and how it works. They have mainly focused on three notions of love: eros, agape, and philia. They have also tried to figure out what kind of properties love has and whether or not it can be justified.
Some people see love as a basic, biological need, a sort of mammalian drive similar to the way that humans respond to hunger or thirst. Others see it as a more social and cultural phenomenon. Some believe that there are two kinds of love: companionate and passionate. Still, others say that agape is more like a concern for another person’s spiritual growth and narcissism than philia or eros (Rorty 1986/1993).
Despite this remarkably rich history, philosophers have struggled to explain what love is and why it matters. They have classified many theories of love, but it is worth mentioning that some of these classifications may be excessively pigeonholing and that certain theories sometimes include elements of other categories as well.
Most theories of love are concerned with a fundamental problem that is inherent in love: it can be hard to justify love based on the idiosyncratic and subjective properties of loving a particular person. This problem is particularly acute for those who think that love must be based on a commitment to the value of the loved individual as she really is. This is why some theorists have argued that we can understand love as an attitude of valuing and bestowal that involves appraisal but is not merely a response to a beloved’s value as a mere object of one’s affection (Singer 1994). This view tries to solve the problem by asserting that it is in fact possible for someone to respect her loved one’s autonomy while still loving him or her. This is a form of love that has practical import for the lover. It is a type of love that might be called “robust” or “symbiotic.”