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An Argument against Marriage

Abstract

This paper considers an obvious argument against marriage; (a) most of us view the prospect of being married in the absence of mutual love with great antipathy; (b) the mutual love between us and our spouse existing at the inception of our marriage may very well fail to persist; and hence (c) when we marry we are putting ourselves in the position of quite possibly ending up in a loveless marriage of the sort we acknowledge to be undesirable, and this is a mistake. I consider various ways of attacking this argument, and try to show that it may be worth taking more seriously than most people seem inclined.

This paper considers an obvious argument against marriage; (a) most of us view the prospect of being married in the absence of mutual love with great antipathy; (b) the mutual love between us and our spouse existing at the inception of our marriage may very well fail to persist; and hence (c) when we marry we are putting ourselves in the position of quite possibly ending up in a loveless marriage of the sort we acknowledge to be undesirable, and this is a mistake. I consider various ways of attacking this argument, and try to show that it may be worth taking more seriously than most people seem inclined.

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I am indebted to Josh Knobe and Alexander Nehamas for conversation and comments.
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Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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