Love and Entitlement: Sartre and Beauvoir on the Nature of Jealousy

Hypatia 26 (1):102-122 (2011)
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This paper argues that an essential and often overlooked feature of jealousy is the sense that one is entitled to the affirmation provided by the love relationship. By turning to Sartre's and Beauvoir's analyses of love and its distortions, I will show how the public nature of identity can inhibit the possibility of genuine love. Since we must depend on the freedom of others to show us who we are, the uncertainty this introduces into one's sense of self can trigger anxiety and pathological attempts to control those others upon whom one's self-value depends. In jealousy one tries to possess the other person's freedom in the hopes that a constant positive evaluation can be thereby secured. The belief that one is entitled to the self-perfection that such affirmation promises reveals both the important existential role that the beloved plays in the jealous person's psychic structure and the manner in which gender inequalities can promote such distortions of love



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Irene McMullin
University of Essex

Citations of this work

Beauvoir on how we can love authentically.Matthew Robson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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