The Four Loves, by C.S. Lews


The Four Loves, by C. S. Lewis is based on love as defined by affection, friendship, eros, and charity. His thoughts reflects his Christian and philosophical points of view and were taken from radio talks he gave in 1958.

Lewis says that one type of love also depends on the other types:love can be perverted when love “presumes itself to be what it is not”.

He received some criticism for his thoughts about Eros. He felt is was “being in love” or “loving” someone rather than raw sexuality. He made the distinction to clarify this to discuss the difference of “wanting a woman” compared to “wanting one particular women”.

The highest love, Agape, was felt to be the greatest of the four loves. It doesn’t change but remains constant in our lives and is given unconditionally and is what God’s love is.

The book is intended to help the reader see the difference from the different uses of the word "love" which even when this was written seemed to have become more informal. Loving our car and a movie and then loving our friends all fall short of the highest love, of course.

(Is C.S. Lewis a Literary Influence? It is easy to say "of course he is". Some suggest that his beliefs were not literary influences? His writings of fantasy were literary influences. For more on this see Literary Influences Section)


“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” 

“Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” 

“You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.” 

“The mark of Friendship is not that help will be given when the pinch comes (of course it will) but that, having been given, it makes no difference at all.”