Love: Through the Lens of Pitirim Sorokin

  • Joseph G. D’Ambrosio
  • Anna C. Faul


Understanding the virtue of love has challenged scholars for centuries but in recent years science has produced substantial scholarship in understanding the complex meanings that we attribute to the word “love.” This article explores love through the lens of Pitirim Sorokin, an eminent Harvard sociologist, who developed an intricate framework to understand what he called “other-regarding or altruistic” love. It is proposed that his theoretical framework can act as a gauge of love-producing actions helping guide humans to more authentic, meaningful and engaged relationships. Conflict continues to increase in the world both on a micro and macro level and having a theory of love that can help reduce the devastation conflict creates is necessary for our continued human existence.