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Recent research suggests that romantic love can be literally addictive. Although the exact nature of the relationship between love and addiction has been described in inconsistent terms throughout the literature, we offer a framework that distinguishes between a narrow view and a broad view of love addiction. The narrow view counts only the most extreme, harmful forms of love or love-related behaviors as being potentially addictive in nature. The broad view, by contrast, counts even basic social attachment as being on a spectrum of addictive motivations, underwritten by similar neurochemical processes as more conventional addictions. We argue that on either understanding of love-as-addiction, treatment decisions should hinge on considerations of harm and well-being rather than on definitions of disease. Implications for the ethical use of anti-love biotechnology are considered.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Philos Psychiatr Psychol

Publication Date

03/2017

Volume

24

Pages

77 - 92

Keywords

addiction, love, oxytocin, psychiatry, sex, well-being