A Nozick and Dworkin comparison
Philosophy of Love and Sex
This paper compares and contrasts the philosophical views of two thinkers: Robert Nozick and Andrea Dworkin on the subject of Romantic Love (Eros / Being in Love). By romantic love, Nozick and Dworkin are referring to the possibility of two individuals sharing a single identity: in other words, what Nozick calls love’s bond and Dworkin calls communion. Where Nozick and Dworkin differ is over the value of the pursuit of this identity by lovers. How do Dworkin and Nozick feel about the pursuits of romantic identification by a lover and should this pursuit be unrequited? In Love’s Bond by Nozick and Communion by Dworkin, we see that while Nozick would question the value of unrequited love where only one gets their needs met, Dworkin would embrace it. The reason for the difference in their views is that they have different notions of what constitutes good romantic love. For Nozick, love brings people together to meet each other’s needs. The good of love is met when both partners get their needs met. This is not going to happen if love is not requited. For Dworkin, romantic’s love’s value can be sufficiently realised if it allows the subaltern (usually the woman) in a relationship to preserve her humanity. Says Dworkin, while communion is better, unrequited love where the woman preserves her humanity has virtue as it is necessary for the survival of our species as human. To sum up, Nozick thinks loves good can be achieved only if lovers are equal. For Dworkin, love’s good can be achieved even in conditions of inequality.
Loves Bond, an application of Nozick
Nozick states that love is a lived experience, which is defined, by an individual’s internal state of being. This encompasses a broad application of the love process, which includes the love of parent, aimed at his/her young, and what is common that one’s own well-being is tied up with that someone or something they love (p.231)
The process of being in love is a complex phenomenon; it is an application of romantic love that is founded by the lover and joined with an parallel response on the part of the beloved; the formalization of Love’s Bond. When Eros is present between two individuals, we call that being in love. Eros interlaces the individual identities of the lovers into a united “US” and “WE” identity. This “WE”, does not wipe out each of the lovers’ individualities: the “me” ’s.
Nozick states that Loves Bond has takes on two different forms depending on the sex of the lover. The romantic relationship is founded based on the priority of the lovers’ own identities
Nozick indicates and implies that the females base the structure of a romantic relationship on an integrated identity: “WE”, rather than “ME”. For the female, the “WE” becomes the main focus point of her life, leaving the “ME” as a second priority. In contrast, the male population places the priorities of the relationship based on the centralized theme of the “ME”, rather than the “WE” complex. Once the male has fulfilled the “ME” component, he proceeds to the “WE” component within the erotic interpersonal relationship. When a romantic relationship is in the state of priority of the “WE” for both participants it reflects interconnected gulf of existence, making the relationship a multidimensional advancing headway of happiness and value. According to Nozick, any occurrence that is encountered by the beloved is equally felt by the lover and vice versa. Nozick on the goods of love’s bond:
When both lovers enter into the state of “WE”, Eros crops the three Goods of Love’s Bond. The three Goods of Love’s Bonds as credited by Nozick (p. 234) are: a- loving ones flaws, b- Becoming an expert at meeting the partner’s needs, and finally, c- giving up on searching for a new prospective beloved.
a- Loving one’s flaws:
Nozick states that the first Good of Love’s Bond is overcoming...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document