Love and Beauty
Building on concepts developed in his previously published New Theory of Beauty, Guy Sircello constructs a bold and provocative theory of love in which the objects of love are the qualities that "bear" beauty and the pleasure of all love is "erotic," without being "sexual." The theory reveals a continuity of subject matter between premodern notions of love and modern notions of aesthetic pleasure, thus providing grounds for criticizing modern tendencies to isolate the aesthetic both culturally and psychologically and to separate it from its home in the human body.
The author begins with an analysis of enjoyment that reduces all enjoyment to the enjoyment of the "experience of qualities." He explains how we experience qualities as "circulating" in a special form of "space" that includes our own bodies, the external world, and their interpenetration. Sircello generalizes this analysis to encompass all forms of love and grounds the pleasure of all love--aesthetic or nonaesthetic, personal or nonpersonal, sexual or nonsexual--in an experience of the form of an "overall bodily caress."
Originally published in 1989.
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