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Western Notions of Love

Love In Western History, Romantic Love, "scientific" Analysis Of Love, Bibliography

In the West, probably more has been written about love than any other topic except the nature of God. There is, however, no consensus on what the word love or amor, agape, Liebe, eros, or hundreds of other terms signifies. It is clear, however, that it is more than a simple animal urge to procreate. Harry Harlow, for example, demonstrated that mother love was essential to the normal development of infant monkeys, and that infants deprived of love and nurturance became disturbed, unhappy adults, unfit for monkey society. But love is much more than the feelings of a mother for a child, although mother love has usually been regarded as much more intense than that of a father. Among other things the term love has been used to describe the feelings of a child toward a parent, one's feelings for friends and comrades, a religious yearning for transcendence, an entirely materialistic desire for physical sexual gratification, and the list could go on.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Linear expansivity to Macrocosm and microcosm