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The Nature of LoveCourtly and Romantic$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262512732

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262512732.001.0001

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Introduction Concepts of Love in the West

Introduction Concepts of Love in the West

(p.1) Introduction Concepts of Love in the West
The Nature of Love

Irving Singer

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the history of love and the theory of historians of a world without love or a concept of it; according to some historians, sexual love, or the love between a man and a woman, came into existence only after Western civilization achieved a particular stage of development in the early Middle Ages. This theory is reinforced by the fact that Western ideas about love seem to be meaningless in many other cultures, no matter how advanced some cultures may be. This way of thinking about the history of love may be useful, but it is confused in several respects; surely people from earlier times and other regions lived with some form of love, which exists as a complex but common occurrence within human nature as a whole.

Keywords:   history of love, sexual love, historians, Western civilization, Middle Ages, human nature

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