The Amorality of Romantic Love

In Rachel Fedock, Michael Kühler & Raja Rosenhagen (eds.), Love, Justice, and Autonomy: Philosophical Perspectives. New York, NY, USA: pp. 23-42 (2021)
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It has been argued that romantic love is an intrinsically moral phenomenon – a phenomenon that is directly connected to morality. The connection is elucidated in terms of reasons for love, and reasons of love. It is said that romantic love is a response to moral reasons – the moral qualities of the beloved. Additionally, the reasons that love produces are also moral in nature. Since romantic love is a response to moral qualities and a source of moral motivation, it is itself moral. This chapter aims to cast doubt on both these claims. By employing the model of emotional rationality it shows that a moralistic fallacy is committed when reasons for love are construed as moral. Reasons of love are also not essentially moral but rather of both moral and nonmoral kinds. Reasons of love are in part determined by cultural narratives and norms pertaining to love. Romantic love is not moral in nature. Morality is extrinsic to love.
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