(09-01-2013 11:26 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote: Aren't these arguments applicable to all emotions? Love, hate, whatever? And by further extrapolation, to all relationships of all kinds? Friends, coworkers, pets, enemies, whatever?
We can prove what people do to each other (usually, unless it was unobserved and left no trace). We can prove or demonstrate proximity, behavior, conversations, obvious relationships like parent/child, boss/employee, etc. That's about it.
From all that, we infer emotional relationships based on our own personal understanding of what those emotions mean. Our inferences can often be quite wrong.
What's really interesting is that none of us have the same exact understanding of any emotion. I know what love is. I learned it as a child, loving my parents and family and pets. Later I learned to love romantically and later I loved (and still love) my children. I also love pizza, and Rush, and playing video games. It's all love and it's all different - yes, I love my children differently than I love pizza. But my understanding of love is almost certainly different than how each of you understand it, and you're all almost certainly different from each other. At least marginally.
This is because love cannot be demonstrated, quantified, or taught. We each experience it our own way and learn to call that experience love, but it's unique to each of us with no way to compare and measure it against each other. Of course, this applies to all emotions. They're all unique to each person experiencing them.
So it's an interesting thought - when you say "I love you" to someone and he or she says it back, you're almost certainly saying slightly different things.
This is true. Love is felt differently and none of us will know if it's the same type or degree as the other we feel it for (the reciprocated feeling from them). Just like we all don't know we inturpet sounds, sights or tastes the same. What is too spicy for one may not be enough for another, too bright, etc. It's the difference of sensitivity.