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Chapter 8 - Love, Marriage, and Delusion in Either/Or

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2023

Ryan S. Kemp
Affiliation:
Wheaton College, Illinois
Walter Wietzke
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, River Falls
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Summary

This chapter explores Judge William’s argument that ethical marriage is superior to aesthetic ways of living. William’s argument serves as a response to the method A sketches out in his essay on crop rotation, by explaining how the various concerns that motivate A’s program for avoiding boredom are more fully addressed by the marriage relationship. And yet, deeper examination of William’s argument reveals how this view of marriage is itself incomplete. Incidentally, it is A’s review essay on “The First Love” that demonstrates how a proper appreciation for “the occasion” helps protect romantic partners, in both aesthetic and ethical relationships, from falling into delusion about the status of their relationship. William’s account of marriage seems to ignore this problem, but with the importance of the occasion in mind we can understand what a fuller, more meaningful romantic relationship could be like.

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Chapter
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Kierkegaard's Either/Or
A Critical Guide
, pp. 135 - 152
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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