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Aristotle's Four Loves

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Sara Walsh-Esposito

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of Aristotle's Four Loves

The Greeks and Love Greek words for types of love

(terms used by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle in their respective explanations.)



Agape "Affection"

-refers to relationships within a family, especially in rapports between child and parent or between spouses.

-refers to acceptance and endurance of a painful or uncomfortable situation for the sake of affection, e.g., care for an elderly family member, an injured spouse, or an infant/child.

-refers to humans' natural instinct to help and to give. Storge "Storge" in The Road "friendship"
a concept developed by Aristotle Philia -refers to loyalty and good-will toward family, friends, and community.

-this type of love requires, according to Aristotle, virtue (wishing the good of another), shared interests or pursuits, and familiarity.

-Philia cannot endure unless each human possesses
love of self.

-According to Aristotle, this love was necessary for a man to find happiness. Philia "Can't we help him? Papa?
No. We can't help him.
The boy kept pulling at his coat.
Papa? He said."
(50) "He fashioned sweeps from two old brooms he'd found and wired them to the cart [...] they set off down the hills, guiding the cart on the curves with their bodies in the manner of bobsledders. It was the first that he'd seen the boy smile in a long time" (19). "He spat on it and wiped away the dirt on the seam of his trousers and gave it to the boy. It was white quartz, perfect as the day it was made. There are more, he said.
Watch the ground, you'll see." (203) Philia or (desire for it)
The Road "What if that little boy
doesn't have anybody
to take care of him?
What if he doesn't have a papa? (85). -characteristics include desire, lust, and longing.
-need not be sexual in nature, hence Platonic love.
-in its essence eros becomes an appreciation of the beauty within a person or an appreciation of beauty itself.
-according to Socrates and Plato, Eros helps the soul/spirit to recall knowledge of beauty, which ultimately leads to an understanding of a spiritual truth.
-danger: human beings often mistake the recipient of this love the form in and of itself. Eros "passionate love of the senses" "For the love of God, woman. What am I to tell him?
I can't help you.
Where are you going to go? You can't even see.
I don't have to" (58). Eros in The Road "I've taken a new lover. He can give me
what you cannot.
Death is not a lover.
Oh yes he is" (57). "So be it. Evoke the forms. Where you've nothing else construct ceremonies out of air and breathe upon them" (74). Eros in The Road continued "There were times when he sat watching the boy sleep that he would begin to sob uncontrollably but it wasn't about death. He wasn't sure what it was about but he thought it was about beauty or about goodness." "Sacrificial Love" Agape -this love is deeper than Eros as it surpasses attraction
and represents sacrificial love.

-as with Storge, this type of love is usually found in
in feelings for one's children or family members and for one's life partner. Aristotle states that exceptional friendships may hold features of Agape.

-it may also be experienced when one person holds another person in exceedingly high regard. "This is my child, he said. I was a dead man's brains out of his hair. That is my job. Then he wrapped him in the blanket and carried him to the fire" (74). Agape in The Road
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