Existentialism and Romantic Love
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This book is an existential study of romantic loving. It draws on five existential philosophers to offer insights into what is wrong with our everyday ideas about romantic loving, why reality often falls short of the ideal, sources of frustrations and disappointments, and possibilities for creating authentically meaningful relationships.
assertion of one’s autonomy, free from any pressure, conditioning, or emotion, for increasing the property in which one takes an interest. One can pursue the possessions of the material world, provided one remains the master and not the slave. It is only when one is free from such spooks as obligations and expectations that one is able to truly own oneself. However, for Stirner, freedom is also a spook. Being free is not something to seek or win but rather to recognize and assume. Many people who
for relationship stamina and survival of offspring.22 Arthur Schopenhauer is one philosopher who takes such a view. He proposed that love is determined by sexual impulse which appears as a “voluptuous illusion” that directs individuals toward those who seem to promise happiness and pleasure. The human species benefits because generations reproduce, but individuals are much less satisfied.23 Based on these definitions, the ideas of romantic loving – against which existential themes are compared
“unbridled urge”.64 Even if it benefits others, sacrificing 82 Existentialism and Romantic Love oneself is egoistic. He raised a similar point in Human, All Too Human when he suggested that sacrificing oneself to another is egoistic because it is giving in to one’s desires.65 Since succumbing to one’s immediate desires is characteristic of a weak will, lovers who succumb to their urges are also weak willed. Nevertheless, he proposed later that women also gain power through their subordination
being friends and enemies, Sartre did not take his philosophy in such a direction. Finally, Sartre’s philosophy in Being and Nothingness raises questions about how concerned for the beloved’s welfare one is, since one is concerned with the other only insofar as one’s existence is in question 124 Existentialism and Romantic Love and values the other. Nevertheless, he also condemns the attitude of being indifferent to others. Moreover, Sartre argued that romantic loving is a manifestation of a
word: Stirner wrote that someone who loves is richer than someone who does not; Kierkegaard suggested that loving others is the only thing worth living for; Nietzsche advised that we need lovers like bitter medicine to be able better to strive toward the ideal of the Übermensch; Sartre held that lovers are the key to revealing deeper dimensions of our being; and, according to Beauvoir, the world takes on meaning by throwing oneself into loving. Notes 1 Introduction 1. For example, Singer The