This one is tough, as the English word “love” covers everything from agape to eros to philia and so many different virtues have been swept under its name over the years.
One distinguishing thing about love is the prominence of emotion. You can imagine being dispassionately kind, considerate, respectful, etc. but being dispassionately loving seems more like a contradiction.
Prototypes of loving include that between parents and children, and that between lovers. (The book Character Strengths and Virtues pivoted from talking about the character strength of love to talking about research on “attachment” almost entirely, for example.)
Virtues possibly in tension¶
How to acquire or strengthen it¶
Notes and links¶
- Is love an art? Can it be learned?
- The Sheer Complexity of Love
- How to Love: Legendary Zen Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on Mastering the Art of “Interbeing”
- Simone de Beauvoir on authentic love
- Video: Remaking Love (TED Talk)
- LessWrong: An Open Letter on Love
- One of St. Paul’s “fruit of the spirit” (Christian virtues), but as agape (sometimes translated as “charity”).
- One of The VIA Institute’s "Character Strengths" (see their page)
- One of William De Witt Hyde’s virtues
- “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” — Matthew 22:36-40
- “Why love among the virtues is not known / Is, that love is them all contract in one.” — John Donne, To the Countess of Huntingdon