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PHIL 2170 Lecture Notes - D. H. Lawrence, Real Union

Course Code
PHIL 2170
Samantha Copeland

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Friday, January 21, 2011
“Only someone who continues to possess a nonsubservient autonomy can be an apt
partner in a joint identity that enlarges and enhances your individual one. (233)”
An ideal/limit for what counts as ‘love’?
Idea that you don’t get a loving relationship if you’re subservient
Personal Autonomy (SEP): “Self-governing agents are autonomous agents”
Ties in responsibility, accountability
Aristophanes suggests we have a single partner that we’re dragged to by our
metaphysical nature; Nozick suggests that while love and desire have something to do
with the relationship, free will and choice also play a role; making a choice to be
involved in such a relationship. We seek out someone suitable to become a ‘we’ with –
we look for certain characteristics – not a singular person.
Union has priority over people in the union. The desire for union has us looking at people
in a different way. Process requires autonomy.
‘We’ must be desired and chosen by both members – can’t passively accept the
relationship; need to make it for themselves
“The caution may become as great as when two suspicious groups or nations – Israel and
the Palestinians – need to recognize the legitimacy of one another. (235)”
Related to the legitimacy of another person? Fair comparison?
Not just legitimate as a person, take each other as autonomous individuals and it’s
Appreciation of the autonomy, agreement not to interfere, expectation that you’re
not going to be subservient to the other
“A readiness to trade up…”
Directly criticizing the Socratic account of love
Stop looking for ways to trade up – if union is what we’re seeking that doesn’t
allow for switching/trading up. Has to be a real union – developing patterns,
figuring out interests, etc.
When you follow Socrates, you end up with a ‘trading up’ idea; someone else
who might be better
Rational aspect; why irrational to stick with someone even though someone better
comes along? A rational person does what they need to do to get what they want.
“… It distorts romantic love to view it through the lens of the egoistic question…”
What we want is not to be the kind of person who’s good in a we,
No set of characteristics to determine being a member of a ‘we’; it’s contextual;
individualistic; personal
Compared to DH Lawrence; modern conventions encourage us to be with
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