The Unity of Romantic Love
'The Unity of Romantic Love,' Philosophy and Theology 1:4 (1987), 374-97; A. Soble, ed., Sex, Love, and Friendship (Rodopi, 1997), 385-401.
19 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2014
Date Written: September 30, 1985
Romantic love, a psychological phenomenon, is analyzed as composed of a desire for exclusivity (or monogamy), a desire that the desires of romantic love be reciprocated, a benevolent attitude toward the beloved, a passion for union, and admiration for the beloved. Sexuality is included as one manifestation as the passion for union (and no distinction is made between same-sex and other-sex desire and romantic love). The metaphilosophical point of this treatment of romantic love is that a theory of love should exhibit "explanatory unification." The various elements of romantic love do not exist independently of each other; they are woven together as if in a fabric or quilt.
Keywords: Romantic love, admiration, desire, sexuality, reciprocity, monogamy, exclusivity, constancy, passion, union, explanatory unification, philosophical method, Georg Simmel, J.-J. Rousseau
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation