Journal of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Social Sciences Edition ›› 2022, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (2): 84-90.DOI: 10.13766/j.bhsk.1008-2204.2021.0970

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Concepts of Love of Descartes and Spinoza

WANG Minan   

  1. School of Humanities, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2021-11-15 Published:2022-03-30

Abstract: The philosophy and concept of love in Europe have undergone several turns. In Greek times, the concept of love shifted from the physical love of Dionysus to the love of knowledge of Socrates and the love of God of Augustine. In the 17th century, during the European Renaissance, it changed from secular passionate love to scientific and rational analysis of love. Descartes and Spinoza tried to establish a scientific model of explanation for love. Descartes believed that love is a specific physiological process, and is the unity of soul movement and body movement. He utilized the principles of emotional dynamics and divided love into three types based on its intensity: strong love, ordinary love and moderate love. Following the geometry of emotion, Spinoza argued that love has variability, diversity, immanence and nonsubjectivity based on the relationships. In addition, the paper finds that the concepts of love of Descartes and Spinoza are the philosophical responses to the God’s love and Boccaccio’s love of Augustine respectively.

Key words: Descartes, Spinoza, philosophy of love, turn of love, love of God, love of reason

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