Few words in the English language convey such a range of meanings as the word "love". For many, love is the point of existence, for others it's the manifestation of the divine, for some it is a tool of oppression. No other subject has spawned so much poetry. But what is love? Is it an animalistic urge, a mystical aspiration, a social construct, a neurological glitch, or nothing at all?
Love is biologicalShow moreShow less
Love can be reduced to chemicals and hormones, it is rooted in human evolution, our genetics and our desire to produce healthy offspring.
Infatuation is a core part of the cultural depiction of love. The mental capacity of human beings to be totally enamoured with another person knows no bounds when infatuation comes into play - just think of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, or John Hinkley Jr's assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan to try to impress Jodie Foster.
Pinker argues that opposed to lust and commitment, which are driven by testosterone and oxytocin respectively, infatuation is the most important part of love as it directly affects the dopamine system causing obsession and intense desire.
Humans are capable of feeling extraordinarily intense feelings of infatuation. This is pivotal to understanding how we culturally construct love, and to what it really is.
[P1] Infatuation consists of feelings of deep obsession and love.
[P2] This extreme exemplifies what love really is, as it introduces the strongest hormonal change to the body.