Volume 84, Issue 3, Summer 2010
What Romance Could Not Be
This essay makes a number of distinctions between the motives of love and of duty, and argues that ideally they act in concert so as to generate constancy in loving relations. The essay revolves around a case in which a husband or wife is tempted to infidelity. It is argued that resistance to the temptation is optimally grounded in love for the spouse rather than simply in a duty to resist initiated perhaps through promise or vow. This is not, however, to undermine altogether the significance of promises of this sort; it is rather to put a proper emphasis on the sentiment of love as an effective spring to action and to suggest that the sentiment itself ideally brings a past promise or vow of fidelity into present relief in a choice situation.