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Why Do We Love?

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.

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.

This lesson plan is suitable for use in middle school and high school.

This video outlines five of these philosophical perspectives on why we love.
Video prompt (5:44 min):

Potential discussion questions:

  1. Why is it that love can be one of the best and the worst things in life?
  2. Some people never fall in love or have a long term loving relationship.  Are they missing out?
  3. How important is friendship in romantic relationships?
  4. What is love?
  5. Why do we love?
  6. Does love need to be unconditional for it to be “good”?
  7. Love activates similar neural pathways in the brain as do some psychotropic drugs. Is being in love similar to having an addiction?
  8. What would it be like to live a life without love?
  9. Are there many kinds of love? If so, what do you think some of them are? 

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


This lesson plan was contributed by Debi Taukdar.