Love In-Between

The Journal of Ethics 25 (4):501-524 (2021)
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Abstract

In this paper, we introduce an enactive account of loving as participatory sense-making inspired by the “I love to you” of the feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray. Emancipating from the fusionist concept of romantic love, which understands love as unity, we conceptualise loving as an existential engagement in a dialectic of encounter, in continuous processes of becoming-in-relation. In these processes, desire acquires a certain prominence as the need to know (the other, the relation, oneself) more. We build on Irigaray’s account of love to present a phenomenology of loving interactions and then our enactive account. Finally, we draw some implications for ethics. These concern language, difference, vulnerability, desire, and self-transformation.

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