Love and Human Identity

From my article ‘George MacDonald and The Anthropology of Love

george-macdonald…human identity is not first and foremost a question of doctrines (what we think) like the rationalists would maintain, nor is it first and foremost a matter of morals (what we do); rather, the deepest seat of human identity is located first and foremost in what we love. Love precedes both doing and thinking and is the energizing principle behind both things. This recognizes that our ultimate loves are tied to a certain vision of what we think human flourishing looks like which unconsciously orients us to consider certain things worthy of our adoration. But that vision is often affective and implicit before it becomes the material of direct cognition. It is an inchoate vision that grabs our unconscious with an aesthetic pull in a way similar to how David Brooks described the formation of political preferences in his book The Social Animal .