Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3-4):1-15 (2020)

Pilar Lopez-Cantero
Tilburg University
Alfred Archer
Tilburg University
In this paper we develop a view about the disorientation attached to the process of falling out of love and explain its prudential and moral value. We start with a brief background on theories of love and situate our argument within the views concerned with the lovers’ identities. Namely, love changes who we are. In the context of our paper, we explain this common tenet in the philosophy of love as a change in the lovers’ self-concepts through a process of mutual shaping. This, however, is potentially dangerous for people involved in what we call ‘subsuming relationships’, who give up too much autonomy in the process of mutual shaping. We then move on to show how, through the relation between love and the self-concept, we can explain why the process of falling out of love with someone is so disorientating: when one is falling out of love, one loses an important point of reference for self-understanding. While this disorientating process is typically taken to be harmful to the person experiencing it, we will explain how it can also have moral and prudential value. By re-evaluating who we were in the relationship and who we are now, we can escape from oppressive practices in subsuming relationships. We finish by arguing that this gives us reason to be wary of seeking to re-orient ourselves -or others- too quickly after falling out of love.
Keywords Philosophy of love  Disorientation  Feminist Philosophy  Ethics of Love  Philosophy of Emotion  Ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-020-10067-2
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine Korsgaard - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):384-394.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2004 - Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2006 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Ethics of Love.Alfred Archer - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (4):423-427.

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