Blog #25: Instantiations

#1: We just associate the chemical reactions (the ones stated in the article) with being in love, but we don’t know that the cause of our romantic feelings is actually the chemicals themselves. According to Hume, we draw the connection between chemicals and our feelings. Because we see a pattern with certain chemical reactions happening in the minds of people who claim to be in love or exhibit tell-tale signs of love, we assume that those chemicals lead to being in love (constant conjunction). However, we don’t have sufficient reasoning to believe the two are connected. According to Hume, when we talk about and make these connections and associations we are simply expressing our experience and not describing the objects as objects are independent of our experience of them. Therefore, if true love is based on the chemical reactions in our brain, according to Hume, we won’t ever know if we are in love since the two are technically unrelated and the connection is just one that we draw. This connection is drawn by the article and is misleading to the reader because although there isn’t sufficient reasoning to believe the science behind love is correct, the reader will assume that the point made is truthful because it is based on science, something usually deemed to be correct and reliable. (Hume)

#2: The article claims that in order to be in love we must accept and understand not only ourselves but our partners as well. However, we don’t know how to properly understand or describe how we feel according to Frankfurt. A truth exists about how we feel, but because our feelings are intangible we will never know if we are doing them justice when we put those feelings into words. Having said so, most people end up disregarding the concrete reality due to their loss of confidence in finding the truth, especially that about themselves, and turn to focusing their efforts on being as true to themselves as possible in hopes of coming close to the true reality. This means that they are essentially disregarding the feelings of other people, a key component in being in love according to Elite Daily. 

*other notes* The last sentence saying “you’ll just know” contradicts the other points made in the article. In addition, this also involves an element of assuming that the way we think we feel and that the way we describe it is truthful, as previously shut down by Frankfurt.  

*other notes* Descartes also claims that we can only know if we exist and not that others exist. Having said so, we cannot know other people’s feelings.

#3: It’s highly unlikely that people have access to MRI machines (like the ones used to study the chemicals mentioned in the article) to determine the chemical reactions taking place. Furthermore, how was this connection originally drawn? In order to determine a cause and effect between chemicals and being in love, a method that has already been shown to be faulty by Hume, an element of trust must be involved. It has to be assumed that the first person who had their brain studied was in love in the first place. It is possible that the chemical reactions taking place in a person who claimed to be in love were there because of something else, and that these chemicals were not necessarily causing their romantic feelings. However, because that first patient described their feelings as love while those chemical reactions were taking place the scientists studying them assumed the chemical reactions were associated with being in love. Therefore anyone else who claimed to be in love with those same chemical reactions being shown on the MRI validated the original claim made by patient A. However, this method is flawed as shown by Frankfurt and Hume.

Join the Conversation


  1. Your instantiations are really interesting! I liked how you used Hume and constant conjunction to talk about the flaws of chemicals being associated with love. Your arguments are in-depth and you work philosophical ideas into them very well!

  2. The instantiations are very well written and I like how you added *other notes* for additional support. The topic on “love” seems really intriguing and I think Frankfurt and Hume are good philosophers to write about as well!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *