Early Relationships, Pathologies of Attachment, and the Capacity to Love

In Adrienne M. Martin (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Love in Philosophy. New York: Routledge Handbooks in Philoso. pp. 23-34 (2018)
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Abstract

Psychologists often characterize the infant’s attachment to her primary caregiver as love. Philosophical accounts of love, however, tend to speak against this possibility. Love is typically thought to require sophisticated cognitive capacities that infants do not possess. Nevertheless, there are important similarities between the infant-primary caregiver bond and mature love, and the former is commonly thought to play an important role in one’s capacity for the latter. In this work, I examine the relationship between the infant-primary caregiver bond and love. I argue that while these very early attachments do not represent genuine love, a fuller understanding of them can inform extant philosophical views of love.

Author's Profile

Monique Wonderly
University of California, San Diego

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