I remember in my undergrad being taught about some philosopher who regarded the whole end and purpose of human existence to be primarily that of relationship with other people. I dont remember if he used the word love, but it had the implication of loving relationship. The act of relating and/or being known through dialogue may have also been a part of it, but maybe not.

I can't for the life of me remember the name of that philosopher. What philosopher(s) have espoused views that reflect or represent sentiments similar to what I just laid out?

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    I wish I knew. It sounds interesting. It also links into my concern about what inhibits the most intimate relationships. Can you remember any specific philosophical movement with which the person was related?
    – Whickwithy
    Nov 17, 2021 at 12:27
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    Maybe Mgtaggart? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._M._E._McTaggart He talked about the importance of love. Nov 17, 2021 at 15:18
  • Ok, it was me. (and a whole lot of people, I'm sure)
    – Scott Rowe
    Jun 16, 2022 at 10:10

1 Answer 1


One of many reasons we need relationships with others is actually metaphysical -- it's almost impossible to stay in the real on our own. We rely on others to know the real (the truth) from imaginary... to keep us sane, basically.

Otherwise, it pays to understand things and people, and that's what true love is, first and foremost -- love is understanding. And, so unconditional -- because understanding is! Tho it'd be more accurate to use "compassion" in this context -- "love" has many meanings, not all of them positive.

Oh, and that's why "love you enemy", as Jesus would put it -- 'because "know your enemy", as Sun Tzu would put it in "The Art of War" -- can't really know anyone unless have compassion for them. And while Sun Tzu was primarily concerned with military advantage, the most tangible benefits of having compassion to our enemies is it's capacity for de-escalation (which was also Sun Tzu preference).

And that can go a surprisingly long way. It might not be obvious, but in any fight, the opposing sides are not actually fighting each other. They are on the same side, and they have a common enemy -- their own fears. That's why we should think twice before hurting our opponent, as we will be helping the real evil.

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    As always, I would appreciate if people downvoting the answer were explaining their reasons. Jan 13, 2021 at 0:42
  • OP is asking for a specific philosopher with a specific doctrine. I am afraid you are not answering their question.
    – armand
    Jan 13, 2021 at 4:28
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    although that is the case, I appreciate their musings; although, I recognize that stack exchange is typically reserved for specific and direct answers to questions, I frequently wish that there were more space or room for related conversation. Nov 23, 2021 at 4:26
  • @armand There are 2 mentions: Jesus and Sun Tzu. Very good recommendations to study. The explication is good. The derived conclusion is also good. But, IANAP
    – Scott Rowe
    Jun 16, 2022 at 10:18

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