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A General Theory of Love von Thomas Lewis
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A General Theory of Love (2001. Auflage)

von Thomas Lewis

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
649527,838 (4.08)4
"A primordial area of the brain creates both the capacity and the need for emotional intimacy that all humans share. A General Theory of Love describes the workings of this ancient, pivotal urge and reveals that our nervous systems are not self-contained. Instead, our brains link with those of the people close to us, in a silent rhythm that makes up the very life force of the body. These wordless and powerful ties determine our moods, stabilize and maintain our health and well-being, and change the structure of our brains." "A General Theory of Love applies these and other insights to some of the issues we face in our lives. Its authors explain how relationships function and where love goes wrong, how parents shape a child's developing self, how psychotherapy really works, what curbs and what fosters violent aggression in our children, and how modern society regularly courts disaster by flouting emotional laws it does not yet recognize."--BOOK JACKET.… (mehr)
Mitglied:barnninny
Titel:A General Theory of Love
Autoren:Thomas Lewis
Info:Vintage (2001), Paperback, 288 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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A General Theory of Love von Thomas Lewis

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A General Theory of Love has really made me question the use, or really for which intent, starred reads on Goodreads are of use. This book contains elegant prose and the authors have a clear, well-rounded integration of literature, philosophy and neuroscience. Ultimately an enjoyable read I found it hard to follow the path laid where the discussion of childhood attachment includes no reference to Judith Harris's research in The Nurture Assumption or really squares much of any claim with scientific data. I found some great insights into the practice and purpose of therapy, and relatedness and general, but a large erroneous claims about culture and society that were unnecessary and outdated. I wouldn't start the study of emotions and neuroscience with this book but I would recommend it on a reading list, especially when considering the limits of rational inquiry and the significant impact of relationships for general well-being. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
Other than a slight tendancy towards aurate magniloquence, this is a thorough and readable introduction to neuro-psychology. Worth it for anyone interested in brains at all, plus it has the best paper-back cover ever. ( )
  Eoin | Jun 3, 2019 |
This is what I got out of it: all our lives, our feeling mammal limbic brains are (hopefully) seeking out others in order to help us survive and/or prosper. Therefore we better learn to love and care for each other, and especially for our young, otherwise human future will be irreparably damaged at an early stage, and the healing will be difficult, if possible at all.
Must say I was slightly disappointed by this... thesis, which does not sound very new to me, quite the opposite. It sounds almost conservative, like an idea from the 50s, and whoever is bringing it up wants to confirm it by pointing out the physiological side of it. This is what we are born with... these should be our instincts. As a result, for example, mothers are put right back in their realm of motherhood, with its responsibilities of love and caring and... terrible mistakes, should they fail. (Parents as a couple are mentioned rarely and other parenting models are not dwelled on.) This may all well be so, however, what was lacking, was some kind of support or proof that this, indeed, is the case. The opinions in the book seemed tome to me just that - opinions and observations. And these were juxtaposed to poetry and... other observations. I hope more scientific research has been performed to confirm all this since. Obviously, should this really be the case, it would be essential to develop societies that understand and also meet and respond to these needs. And perhaps we should then teach the findings in schools - trying to develop emotional intelligence along other skills. I am giving it 3 stars because of the importance of the topic and my interest for it. ( )
  flydodofly | Feb 10, 2016 |
Outstanding; it's groundbreaking in that in just 230 pages it connects all the dots from early childhood (attachment theory plus much more), brain physiology to modern therapy that gradually & positively alters the old mental/emotional harmful wiring in we humans through the therapeutic emotional sharing between therapist & client! This book is a required read for many psychology students & graduate students that go to CIIS (California Institute of Integral Studies) here in San Francisco. It could be just a tad more accessible to everyone by using simpler language but overall it is definitely NOT bogged down by psychology jargon. ( )
  AmaroqDeQuebrazas | Jul 30, 2015 |
This is the third book on the psychology of love which I picked up when I was back in the UK April-June earlier this year. For the others, see my reviews of The Art of Loving and Conditions of Love. I have to say that this was the book I was looking forward to getting into most but which, in the end, delivered least. Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile read. It just had a high standard to live up to set by the other two.

This book is more about the science behind love, the “biological reality of romance.” It’s written by people with more letters after their name than Jimmy Saville and it shows. Occasionally, they quote poetry to make you think that they are well-rounded people but it’s a thin veneer which is easy to see through Winking smile.

In the preface, they say

Every book, if it is anything at all, is an argument: an articulate arrow of words, fledged and notched and newly anointed with sharpened stone, speeding through paragraphs to its shimmering target.

but somehow, although their book was entertaining and even informative, I missed what their argument, if they indeed had one, was in fact. On rereading the introduction, I discovered it, hidden under a flowering metaphor: an argument for love. As if to say that there is some movement out there which is arguing so strongly against it that it requires them to pool their intellectual resources to defend it. Even Hitler knew something of love. Just ask any of his dogs…. or perhaps Eva Braun. In any case, it seemed to me that saying we needed love was as straightforward as saying we need air or food. As I delved deeper into the book though, I could see that there are areas of our society where we allow economic or social pressures to prevent it altogether and that just such an argument is in fact needed.

In terms of style, that quote from the preface was also a sign of things to come. I’m not sure which of the three authors is responsible for it (it couldn’t be all three of them could it?) but there was a distinct tendency towards verbosity. Speaking of therapy, they write

the longer a patient depends, the more his stability swells, expanding infinitesimally with every session as length is added to a woven cloth with each pass of the shuttle, each contraction of the loom. And after he weaves enough of it, the day comes when the patient will unfurl his independence like a pair of spread wings. Free at last, he catches a wind and rides into other lands.

Yeesh.

Laying stylistic features aside, there’s more in the content. Did you know that mammals removed from their mothers at birth and provided with every physical nutrient simply die or at the very best go insane? Reptilian infants do not. Mammals like us require limbic resonance or the presence of other beings, even if not of our own species, in order to grow up sane. This, they say, is the basis on which love cannot be denied a human being.

What’s more, long-term relationships between humans actually re-write the neuron structure of each other’s brains (limbic revision) to the extent where severe emotionally trauma results in being deprived the presence of that familiar other. They make a very strong case for at least one parent to remain at home and they focus on the mother because biologically, a child experiences far more limbic resonance with its mother than father, at least in the early years. And they are withering in their criticism of the medical profession who, without love, reduce patients to only their illness in their rush to cure the body alone.

They give one-night stands short shrift:

Loving is limbically distant from in love.

And there is a warning to those who think Mills & Boon have somehow captured any reality at all:

in love merely brings the players together, and the end of that prelude is as inevitable as it is desirable… loving is synchronous attunement and modulation. As such, adult love depends critically upon knowing the other. In love demands only the brief acquaintance necessary to establish an emotional genre but does not demand that the book of the beloved’s soul be perused from preface to epilogue. Loving derives from intimacy, the prolonged and detailed surveillance of a foreign soul.

And I can relate to this. It was a real breakthrough for me some years back to realise that my wife was a foreign culture for me to discover and learn about in all its fascinating and bewildering richness, accepting that I would always be a welcome stranger, but a stranger to her world nonetheless.

So, while this book is aimed at society as a whole rather than individual and spends at least 75% of its time building a biological rationale as the basis for an argument for love, I found some titbits to take away. My verdict though is that this comes in third behind Fromm’s Art of Loving while Armstrong’s Conditions of Love takes Arukiyomi’s Love Book of 2011 prize. ( )
1 abstimmen arukiyomi | Nov 25, 2011 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Lewis, ThomasHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Amini, FariHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Lannon, RichardHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
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Wikipedia auf Englisch (3)

"A primordial area of the brain creates both the capacity and the need for emotional intimacy that all humans share. A General Theory of Love describes the workings of this ancient, pivotal urge and reveals that our nervous systems are not self-contained. Instead, our brains link with those of the people close to us, in a silent rhythm that makes up the very life force of the body. These wordless and powerful ties determine our moods, stabilize and maintain our health and well-being, and change the structure of our brains." "A General Theory of Love applies these and other insights to some of the issues we face in our lives. Its authors explain how relationships function and where love goes wrong, how parents shape a child's developing self, how psychotherapy really works, what curbs and what fosters violent aggression in our children, and how modern society regularly courts disaster by flouting emotional laws it does not yet recognize."--BOOK JACKET.

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