The Experience of Love and the Limitations of Psychological Explanation | BYU Studies

The Experience of Love and the Limitations of Psychological Explanation

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The Experience of Love and the Limitations of Psychological Explanation

Author Brent D. Slife,

Brent D. Slife, the 2017 Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer and a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at BYU, delivered this forum address on May 16, 2017, at Brigham Young University. His theme is love and how psychology's knowledge of love has been meager because love is not objective. Slife uses qualitative investigation to explore what love is. His presentation first attempts to describe why he believe several aspects of psychological explanation make little sense of what he experiences in his love for his wife. He then turns to philosopher Jean-Luc Marion, who seems to think outside the explanatory box on this particular topic. But why is love so difficult to grasp? Gracious love is gracious for Marion because it is never deserved or rational in the conventional sense; it is a pure gift without strings attached, logical justifications, or ulterior motives. This description reflects Slife's experience of love for his wife.

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