Northern Illinois University Press

Three Faces of Love

Rolf M. Johnson

"A comprehensive and sophisticated analysis that will be welcomed by scholars, students, and everyone perplexed by love."—Rosemarie Tong, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

What is love? Johnson, a philosopher who has spent his career teaching and thinking about the nature of love, inquires into a topic of interest to virtually everyone.

Johnson draws upon ancient myth, modern poetry, and classic novels, as well as works of philosophy, religion, and psychology, to understand love as a phenomenon that defines our humanity. He identifies three distinct yet related kinds of love—appreciation, caring, and desire for union—and shows just how these three forms of love are interconnected.

Extending his conceptual analysis, he explores the distinctive ethical, psychological, metaphysical, and spiritual dimensions of each form of love. Guided by his unique topology of love, he succeeds in peeling away much of the confusion and ambiguity that surrounds the concept, while leaving love's inherent mystery intact.

Students and teachers of philosophy, psychology, and religion will appreciate Three Faces of Love, as will anyone seeking a fresh way to look at this most powerful and mysterious aspect of human life. Psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors will be particularly interested in the chapter on the dark side of love, obsession, and possessiveness.

(2001) 218 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-270-1
cloth $40.00

Rolf M. Johnson is Professor of Philosophy at Western Connecticut State University.

Table of Contents

1 What Love Is
2 Care-Love
3 Union-Love
4 Union's Hidden Nature
5 Love and Value
6 Appreciation-Love
7 Love's Unity and Universality
8 The Dark Side of Love
Epilogue: Ideals of Spiritual Love
Works Cited

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-270-1
cloth $40.00