It is an age old idea in Philosophy that man is a synthesis. And the division created by this synthesis has been the focal point of vast amounts of - particularly more modern - philosophy. Kierkegaard unites this synthesis through a leap (signifying defeated reason (Camus)), Sartre by a greater devision over the gulf of nothingness, Nietzsche accentuates the multiplicity and Foucault follows, resulting in a - at least partially, though I'm sure Cooly will quibble) - deterministic sytem, and so on; all insufficient for a satisfying union. Emotions seem to be what desires this division to be made redundant, but logic is difficult to bend to the will.
The general modern tendancy in Philosophy seem to be directed towards the creation of a dynamical system of more extensive conotations than that of Foucault, but there remains the problem of determinism. Love throughout the ages has featured in literature as that link that joins two in into one - whether that two be people (to take a Joycean reading of the commandment; love your neighbour as if he were yourself), man and the world (A little like Hess' Goldmund), the two halves of the self (good old fashion Narciscism), or any other union. Given this it is surprising that the concept of Love has not been taken up more strongly as a point of philosophical discussion.
In response to Dirda's article, The Stendhal image of the bare branch that through the eyes of one that loves it will appear to be covered with "shimmering, glittering diamonds, so that the original bough is no longer recognizable" is a love of inaction - the love does everything required. The love of the wives of Gide's "The Partoral Symphony" and "the Immoralist" are also of this nature. I take this example to show it up as contrary to sexual, or desirouse love, which spurs one to action, implying that the loved is the other. The aesthetic loves seems to be the more complete love. to contrast, Zola's Nana feels love breifly, but would seem to be feeling love more out of boredom than anything else. Camus' love is sensual, and (for example in "The Outsider") it is not just for Marie, but also for the cigarette, and the tablet of chocolate, and the sun on his body and so on. Eros is one form of love, a form of love that requires action; this is not the sum total, nor indeed the most affecting love. What I am interested in that love that makes one person see a vermin rabbit while another sees a rich duck (to augment Wittgenstein's toy) - I think it is in that love that there is the most useful philosophical concept.
It would seem a usefull conection and consideration as it allows for value in descrimination, differences between agents, a definition of what the term good refers to without having to give any examples (as Aristotle needed), and as love is never a stable nor predictable thing it would seem to fit into a dynamical system.
These are some of the traditional literary (non-philosophical) conceptions of love. And as has often been stated, philosophy follows literature. So my question for anybody who cares to put an idea forward is no longer "what is 'the good', but this: what is love?