Considerations about a psychophysiological perspective of love


  • Pia Valenzuela FBS at Catholic Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia



love, positive emotion, social interaction, psychological and neurophysiological research, Barbara L. Fredrickson


Aristotle considers passions (emotions) as affections of the human soul involving a body. Concretely, gentleness, fear, pity, courage, joy, loving, and hating involve corporal changes, concurrent affections of the body. For Aristotle, the passions of the soul or emotions are enmattered accounts (DA, 403a20-25).

With the development of cognitive science and neuroscience, a lot of the current emotion research studies the biological and neurological substrates of emotions. Within contemporary psychology research, Barbara L. Fredrickson’s provocative approach deals with love’s biology, studying the biological underpinnings of love and suggesting a body’s definition of love.

After exposing Fredrickson’s concept of love, I discuss some conceptual aspects of this perspective, taking into consideration the unity of the human being and its different features in order to avoid reductionist explanations or conclusions that may lack reflection on the different epistemological levels of Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience.






Human nature, soul and body. Convergence of perspectives