On Romantic Love

On Romantic Love : Simple Truths about a Complex Emotion

3.45 (88 ratings by Goodreads)
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Romantic love presents some of life's most challenging questions. Can we choose who to love? Is romantic love rational? Can we love more than one person at a time? And can we make ourselves fall out of love? In On Romantic Love, Berit Brogaard attempts to get to the bottom of love's many contradictions. This short book, informed by both historical and cutting edge philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, combines a new theory of romantic love with
entertaining anecdotes from real life and accessible explanations of the neuroscience underlying our wildest passions. Against the grain, Brogaard argues that love is an emotion; that it can be, at turns, both rational and irrational; and that it can be manifested in degrees. We can love one person more than another
and we can love a person a little or a lot or not at all. And love isn't even always something we consciously feel. However, love - like other emotions, both conscious and not - is subject to rational control, and falling in or out of it can be a deliberate choice. This engaging and innovative look at a universal topic, featuring original line drawings by illustrator Gareth Southwell, illuminates the processes behind heartbreak, obsession, jealousy, attachment, and more.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 186 x 25mm | 328g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199370737
  • 9780199370733
  • 672,504

Table of contents

Preface ; Chapter 1: Letter from a Friend ; Chapter 2: The Chemistry of Love ; Your Brain on Crack ; Beliefs and Brain Chemistry ; Taking the Drug Away ; Addicted to Grief ; Emotional Pain ; Stress, Pimples and Gray Hair ; Love and Hate ; Chapter 3: The Philosophy of Love ; Love as an Emotion ; Basic and Complex Emotions ; The James-Lange Theory ; The Conjunctive Theory of Emotions ; The Connection Problem ; The Problem of Emotional Responses to Fiction ; The Perceived-Response Theory ; Chapter 4: Irrational Love ; Does the Idea of Irrational Love Make Sense? ; You Call It Madness, I Call It Love ; Irrational Compassionate Love ; Love as a Moral Emotion ; Love as a History ; Love and Personal Identity ; Is Love Unconditional? ; Love and Personal Identity ; Love and Sex ; Chapter 5: Relationships and Insecure Attachment ; Avoidant Attachment Style ; Secure Versus Insecure Attachment ; Avoidant Attachment ; Anxious Attachment ; Childish Relationships ; Jealousy and Anxious Attachment ; Attachment and the Relationship Theory ; Can Attachment Styles Change? ; Familiar Love ; Attachment Love ; Can Animals Love? ; The Other Dimension of Sex ; Chapter 6: Our Unconscious Affections ; Opponents of Unconscious Affection ; Unconscious Affect ; Unconscious Love ; In Your Dreams ; Is Love a Disposition ; Chapter 7: He Is Just Not That into You ; (And Other In-Between Cases) ; Prototype Theory ; Non-Monogamous Love as In-Between Cases ; <"Love>" is a Gradable Verb ; He's Just Not That Into You ; Ambivalence ; Chapter 8: How To Fall Out of Love ; Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche ; Psychoanalysis and Talk Therapy ; Emotional Regulation and Avoidance Behavior ; The Repetition Technique ; Prolonged Exposure Therapy ; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing ; Deep Relaxation and Meditation ; Heartbreak and Placement Conditioning ; The Sinclair Method ; Out, Damned Spot: Using Soap to Wash Away Your Negative Feelings ; Emotional Regulation as a Route to Happiness ; The End: The Heart Wants What It Wants ; References
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Review quote

[C]ompared to other introductory books analysing love, this book is incredibly well balanced. [...] Firstly, the interdisciplinarity of bringing up the true nature of love from the perspectives of science, philosophy, and sociology. Brogaard does not just simply show us the research results of various different academic fields, but also turns those into stories, and constructs her own opinions based on them. * Ohata Hiroshi, Translated from Japanese by Hannah Kentridge * Brogaard's book is written to be accessible to general readers without sacrificing philosophical content. It offers more than enough interesting current theoretical work to merit serious attention by professional readers. Whimsical line drawings by illustrator Gareth Southwell add to the book's appeal. Essential. * Choice * [A] good read, pacy and informative with a nice balance of narratives, debate overviews and claim staking. * Tony Milligan, The Philosophers' Magazine * ... it is a helpful manual to be used in case of being harmed in love... * Metapsychology Online Reviews * It is fascinating in that it discusses so much literature - both in philosophy and in science - that the reader is bound to learn something new. In addition, Brogaard does not shy away from critically evaluating the ideas she presents ... I recommend the book to anyone who wants to know more about the topic. * Hichem Naar, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Berit Brogaard

Dr. Berit Brogaard is Professor of Philosophy at Department of Philosophy and Center for Neurodynamics, University of Missouri, St. Louis. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Journal of Philosophy, Nous, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophers' Imprint, Analysis, Consciousness and Cognition, and Cognitive Science. Her book Transient Truths appeared with Oxford University
Press in 2012. In her academic research she specializes in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences.
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Rating details

88 ratings
3.45 out of 5 stars
5 15% (13)
4 35% (31)
3 33% (29)
2 15% (13)
1 2% (2)
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