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The Nature of LovePlato to Luther$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262512725

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262512725.001.0001

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Philia: Fellowship and Union

Philia: Fellowship and Union

Chapter:
(p.198) 11 Philia: Fellowship and Union
Source:
The Nature of Love
Author(s):

Irving Singer

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262512725.003.0011

This chapter discusses Freud’s definition of love as illustrated in his discussion of a similarity between a church and an army. According to Freud, both groups are nonbiologically melded together by the illusion of a loving leader who loves each and every one of them equally. This belief in an “equal love,” he states, is erroneous because it cannot be verified and is mainly based on wish-fulfillment. However, without this belief, both groups would break down or cease to exist. Freud has discovered two kinds of libidinal ties in each group: one toward the leader and the other toward fellow members. Christians, for example, love Christ as the embodiment of love itself, and share among themselves a sense of oneness that binds them into a unity.

Keywords:   Freud, love, church, army, equal love, libidinal ties, Christ, Christians

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