What is Love, A French philosopher might make you think twice about what you know.
Amy (a former student of Derrida’s) asks him to talk about love, the one thing that has driven human beings crazy throughout history. “I can’t do that,” Derrida replies stubbornly. “You can’t ask this of me, Amy. I have an empty head on love in general.”
The one thing we thought we have figured out but still get confused over the years has made one philosopher question its true meaning and what its life purpose is amongst humans. When Amy insists on asking about love, Derrida stands his ground, insisting he has nothing to contribute. But ironically, while refusing to play ball, Derrida accidentally gives the most thought-provoking, spontaneous and unscripted dialogues ever on the matter of love. He makes the distinction between the ‘who’ one loves – their essence, their being – and the ‘what’ – specific qualities of that person that are valued and attractive. Do you love someone for who they are or what they are? Do you love the things they can give you, or do you love them to their core, with or without receiving anything? And what happens if you discover that the qualities you fell in love with are just illusions- what then? Derrida suggests fidelity is threatened by this gray area between the Who and the What. So next time ask yourself what exactly is the meaning of loving someone, what are your intentions, all this will make you realise how true are you to yourself. Ultimately loving yourself is way more important, it forms the bases of giving love to those around you be it family friends or your spouse.
Taken From True Activist: Life by Sophie McAdam