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Love as Passion: The Codification

of Intimacy
Her (2013)
Ideal to Paradox
The ideal was sought in relationships

Double contingency as a result of freedom

-Coquette vs Precieuses

Paradoxicalization and illusions to cope with contingency

Ideal to Paradox
Its code (Love) fixes ideals. Love finds its own justification in the perfection of the

Unity desired by the lovers, the main problem being the difference of the lovers
(and their freedom)

Love is clearly experienced as being saturated in contradiction, and is portrayed as

bittersweet love (amare amaro)... This is an important point of origin for the
ideational resources which were later to be transformed into the element of playful
As long as love was thought of as the ideal, a knowledge of the
objects characteristics was essential. In the field of paradoxical
codification, love justified itself by means of imagination. Once the
autonomy of intimate relations had finally been established and
raised to the level of reflexion, it was possible to justify love simply
by the inexplicable fact that one love.

In the things it implies and the linguistic forms it takes, gallantry
retains a novelistic, idealistic semantics-suited for any purpose, thus
providing a socially binding style for deceptive and seductive
behaviour as well as for truly loving courtship.

The art de plaire becomes a technique of experimentation and
observation, a strategy for reconnoitring the dangerous terrain of
mundane relationships.

En Route to Individualization
French Classicism

Characterization of the human being

17th century vs 18th century
When the code for intimate relations becomes rearranged in
terms of paradoxies, there will exist opposed solutions to the
problems that arise
Transformation of the code to one based on the semantics of
Towards the turn of the century emotions ceased to be judged
using the differential matrix, true/false, but can to be evaluated-at
least in German literature- by a cognitive reference to the world.
The idea that love is aimed at a particular view of the relation to the
world, at a unique individual, and therefore at a uniquely seen
world, spread and was rounded out to form a new concept of

Being in love thus means to internalize another persons
subjectively systematized view of the world p. 25
Understanding is a complicated process. It is thought
to be improbable.
Love overcomes all boundaries, including
The Romantics emphasized the self, and its relation to
the world.
The individual was isolated from other systems.
One sees the world according to his own terms.
Impact on consciousness
Different world-views meant different definitions of
Identity in terms of the ego and not of other systems.
Luhmanns terms: Different systems meant different
self-referentialities, which meant different realities.
Codification of Intimacy
Rules for what constitutes meaningful communication
Legitimizes paradoxes, misunderstandings, and
subjectivity of love.
Hopes to overcome misunderstanding
Overcoming and Self-referentiality

To overcome misunderstanding, love directs us how

the beloved defines love, and how she sees the world
In other words: To engage in the others self-
Overcoming and Self-referentiality
If love thrived to such an extent on its own sphere of existence, to which the
lovers submitted themselves then love could no longer be connected to a theory
of state or economics; rather the concept corresponded precisely to what was
expected in terms of the others love p. 132

Only thus did one arrive at Romanticism, whose love semantics referred to a
relationship between the individual subject and the world p. 133
Love as a system of interpenetration

Lover -> Self-referentiality of the beloved

-> internalize it into his self-referentiality
-> projects a world through his and her eyes.
Love colors how one sees the world
More was involved here than reciprocal adaptation, and also more
than making each other happy love amounted to the
constitution of a common special world in which love was
always able to inform itself anew by basing its reproduction on
that which meant something to the other person. P. 141
What is love?
What kind of world does one see when one experiences it from the
point of view of two and not one? What is the world like when it is
experienced, developed and lived from the point of view of
difference and not identity? That is what I believe love to be.
Alain Badiou, In Praise of Love