I have written an article titled, ‘Love – the Most Human of Emotions’, a summary of which follows:
1. Fear and Love are the two basic human emotions.
2. For the purposes of the article Fear is defined to include emotions such as fear, anger, hatred, jealousy, guilt, shame, bitterness and resentment; and Love to include emotions such as romantic love, kin love, friendship, kindness, compassion, devotion, empathy, humility, reverence, awe and wonder.
3. Where as Fear is derived from primordial fear found in lower animals, Love is an emotion unique to humans.
4. Love evolved as an emotional by-product of the cognitive trait of existence-awareness which is unique to humans.
5. Love evolved to counteract the adverse effects of Fear in humans.
The main article expounds the afore-mentioned ideas. I have also included some preliminary sections in it which introduce such concepts as the relationship between cognition, emotion and behaviour, and cognitive distortions – I’m afraid such slight ‘softening-up’ is needed to fully understand the ideas proposed. That does make the article fairly long though (about 7400 words), and I apologise for that.
The style of prose has been intentionally kept informal and conversational. There are bound to be errors in this endeavour, both conceptual and factual (hopefully more of the latter than the former). Please feel free to comment…
P.S. Incidentally, I have proposed in an earlier article my central hypothesis that sophisticated time-awareness (STA) is the cognitive trait that makes us human and that existence-awareness is a direct result of the evolution of STA in us. (The full article can be found here, a summary of the same here and a non-technical version here.) It then follows that STA, existence-awareness and the emotion of Love are intimately inter-linked.