Thomas Scheff on love and subversion

‘Investigating the emotional/relational world is a deeply subversive activity….
“Consider… the wealth of meticulous and fine distinctions we make in describing our feelings of hostil­ity: hatred, loathing, scorn, anger, revulsion, resentment, envy, abhorrence, malice, aversion, vexation, irritation, annoyance, disgust, spite and contempt, or worse, “beneath” contempt. And yet we sort out our positive affections for the most part between the two limp categories, “liking” and “loving.” We distinguish our friends from mere acquaintances and make a ready distinction between lovers and friends whom we love “but not that way.” Still, one and the same word serves to describe our enthusiasm for apple strudel, respect for a dis­tant father, the anguish of an uncertain romantic affair and nostalgic affection for an old pair of slippers…”‘

Thomas Scheff, Chapter 4: Defining Love

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