Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Reasons of Love

It is by caring about things that we infused the world with importance. This provides us with stable ambitions and concerns; it marks our interests and our goals. The importance that our caring creates for us defines the framework of standards and aims in terms of which we endeavor to conduct our lives. A person who cares about something is guided, as his attitudes and his actions are shaped, by his continuing interest in it. Insofar as he does care about certain things, this determines how he thinks it important for him to conduct his life. The totality of the various things that a person cares about, together with his ordering of how important to him they are, effectively specifies his answer to the question of how we live.

Harry G. Frankfurt is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton. He wrote those thoughts in his 2004 book, The Reasons of Love. Professor Frankfurt is explaining how our beliefs, along with our emotions create our reality. The importance of caring is deeply rooted in our belief structure. Everyone cares about something. We may not agree with what a person cares about, but that is an association, or a judgment, and it is related to our personal belief structure. It seems we experience this physical dimension for different reasons of love.

Each person chooses to care about certain things, even though it may not be obvious to them that they do care or believe about them. There is so much care around us, but at times we misplace and even misuse our caring.

The importance of caring is an individual association. We tend to group care and beliefs in a linear fashion, but we do that with everything. Our own feeling of separation creates a hierarchy, and we move it around at will. We are guided by our emotions. We react to them, rather than listen to them. We construct mental ideas around beliefs, and they manifest in some way. Those manifestations are usually what we want to believe about our reality.

The reasons for love are as diverse, as they are the same. Our expressions of caring and our believable and unbelievable actions about caring are all reasons of love.

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