Why Do We Love?

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Area: Other Areas
Grade Level: High School & Beyond, Middle School
Topics: Emotions, love
Estimated Time Necessary:

Lesson Plan

Thinking about love
Love is something we talk very little about in schools due to our societal denial and discomfort with confronting teenage relationships and general failure to educate young people about such an important aspect of the human experience. However, a philosophical inquiry into the nature of love can serve as a great starting point for digging deeper into the subject in a safe and engaging way.

Romantic love – beautiful and intoxicating, heart-breaking and soul-crushing… often all at the same time! If romantic love has a purpose, neither science nor psychology has discovered it yet – but over the course of history, some of the most respected philosophers have put forward some intriguing theories.

This video outlines five of these philosophical perspectives on why we love.
Video prompt (5:44 min): https://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-do-we-love-a-philosophical-inquiry-skye-c-cleary

You will find potential discussion questions on the “Discussion Questions” tab. 

*This is inspired from a TED Ed lesson by Skye C. Cleary.


Discussion Questions

  • Why is it that love can be one of the best and the worst things in life?
  • Some people never fall in love or have a long term loving relationship.  Are they missing out?
  • How important is friendship in romantic relationships?
  • What is love?
  • Why do we love?
  • Does love need to be unconditional for it to be “good”?
  • Love activates similar neural pathways in the brain as do some psychotropic drugs. Is being in love similar to having an addiction?
  • What would it be like to live a life without love?
  • Are there many kinds of love? If so, what do you think some of them are? 
This lesson plan was created for PLATO by: Debi Talukdar, PLATO Program Director.

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

If you would like to change or adapt any of PLATO's work for public use, please feel free to contact us for permission at info@plato-philosophy.org.