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Love as Passion: The Codification of Intimacy

Luhmann, Niklas; Jeremy Gaines; Doris L. Jones

82 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0674539230 / ISBN 13: 9780674539235
Published by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1986
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

First edition, 1986. Cloth hardcover in dust jacket, 247 pp., clean unmarked text, Near Fine copy in Near Fine dust jacket. Dust jacket housed in archival dust jacket protector. Bookseller Inventory # s00020982

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Love as Passion: The Codification of ...

Publisher: Harvard University Press, Cambridge

Publication Date: 1986

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: near fine

Edition: First printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

Niklas Luhmann is one of the greatest of contemporary social theorists, and his ultimate aim is to develop a conceptual vocabulary supple enough to capture what he sees as the unprecedented structural characteristics of society since the eighteenth century. Ours is a society in which individuals can determine their own sense of self and function rather than have that predetermined by the strict hierarchy of former times, and a key element in the modern sense of individuality is our concept of love, marriage, and lasting personal relationships. This book takes us back to when passionate love took place exclusively outside of marriage, and Luhmann shows by lively references to social customs and literature how a language and code of behavior were developed so that notions of love and intimacy could be made the essential components of married life. This intimacy and privacy made possible by a social arrangement in which home is where the heart is provides the basis for a society of individuals--the foundation for the structure of modern life. Love is now declared to be unfathomable and personal, yet we love and suffer--as Luhmann shows--according to cultural imperatives.

People working in a variety of fields should find this book of major interest. Social scientists will be intrigued by Luhmann's original and provocative insights into the nature of modern marriage and sexuality, and by the presentation of his theories in concrete, historical detail. His work should also be capital for humanists, since Luhmann's concern throughout is to develop a semantics for passionate love by means of extensive references to literary texts of the modern period. In showing our moral life in the process of revising itself, he thereby sheds much light on the development of drama and the novel in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

From the Inside Flap:

“I believe that Luhmann is the only true genius in the social sciences alive today. By this, I mean that not only is he smart, extremely productive, and amazingly erudite, though all this is true enough, but also that he has, in the course of an improbable career, elaborated a theory of the social that completely reinvents sociology and destroys its most cherished dogmas.” So wrote Stephen Fuchs in his Contemporary Sociology review of Luhmann’s major theoretical work, Social Systems (Stanford, 1995). In this volume, Luhmann analyzes the evolution of love in Western Europe from the seventeenth century to the present.
Reviews
“Luhmann’s unique, monumental, theory-building effort is best described as a consistent attempt to deploy the tools and the inspirations of three strategies: modern information theory, structuralism, and evolutionary theory. . . . Perhaps nothing conveys more poignantly Luhmann’s unusual blend of scientific precision with artistic sensibility than his replacement of Parson’s ‘reciprocity of perspective’ with his own ‘interpersonal interpenetration.’ The first is cool, calculating, cognitive, and dispassionate; the second connotes a richness of relationship that leaves no human faculty unmoved. . . . Luhmann’s work is important because, arguably, it comes closer than all other sociological strategies to restoring the lost link between academically reputable social theorizing and the subjective experience of life.” —American Journal of Sociology
“There is a dearth of analytical writing about the emotions and sentiments that seem to motivate most human action, at least in everyday discussion, although some researchers are making some efforts to remedy this situation. Luhmann’s Love as Passion is an outstanding contribution to this emerging trend . . . full of novel information and fascinating ideas.” —Contemporary Sociology

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