The idea of love is complex and has a wide variety of meanings. For example, some researchers believe that love is a basic human emotion, while others think it is a cultural phenomenon. Other researchers say that love is not an emotion at all, but a physiological drive. Others, like Enrique Burunat, believe that love is a purely physical experience. Regardless of its definition, love persists throughout the world.
Theories of love can be broadly classified into four types. Each type focuses on a specific aspect of love and avoids explicitly reductionist language. However, some theories overlap with each other. Consequently, it is hard to categorize theories of love precisely. In any case, most of them are quasi-reductionist. In this way, they differ in their focus on love. In contrast, the emotion complex view sees love as a complex emotional attitude toward another person. It avoids the excesses of the union view and the overly narrow teleological focus of the robust concern view.
Love is a deeply biological emotion that binds people together and unites them. It is difficult to define, and people often confuse it with lust, attraction, and companionship. Some people define love as an intense feeling of euphoria. Others define love as a deep affection that makes a person feel good.
According to the Ancient Greeks, love is a different state than other forms of affection. It can be altruistic, phila, eros, or agape. The first two are altruistic and include affection between family members, while the second two are more focused on sexual passion and love between two people. The third kind of love focuses on love as a distinct mode of valuing another person.
The bestowal view has some merit, but it does not account for the creative quality of love. Moreover, love is not the response of antecedent values. This means that bestowal and appraisal may be mutually exclusive. Ultimately, they require different evaluative attitudes. This is an essential distinction in understanding the concept of love.