Love and fidelity as seen by Robert Spaemann

Józef Kożuchowski


The fabric of the article is composed of two inseparable issues, love and fidelity, which are analysed here in light of the philosophical thought of Robert Spaemann. In the first part, the Author shows how the German scholar understands true love and its ultimate justification (the very person in its numerical identity). Mainly, the original formula provided by R. Spaemann is described and elucidated, which says that love for one person is another person becoming real to the former. In the second part, the article emphasises how much love, which by definition is connected with a lasting relationship, is tied to fidelity which demonstrates love’s deepest sense and safeguards it. Fidelity stands for exclusiveness of sexual relations, entails a promise of giving oneself to the beloved person. This promise is irrevocable and should last despite adverse and unforeseen events and the most dramatic twists of fate. The lack of consequence regarding national legislation regulating marriage is underscored. Although the relationship of a man and woman, founded on natural law, is in the best interest of the State for it serves the common good and protects human dignity, the State authority calls it into question if divorce and remarriage have been elevated to the rank of universal law.
The article presents such aspects of faithful love which the reader of Spaemann may not be quite familiar with because the philosopher does not articulate them directly, failing to address the position of civil law on the indissolubility of marriage at all.

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