Just Friends, Friends and Lovers, or…?

Philosophy and Theology 8 (2):113-128 (1993)
Abstract
This paper explores the question of whether there is a conceptual distinction between romantic love and friendship and whether such a distinction would support the normative conclusion that friends should not be lovers. Laurence Thomas has argued that, given an egalitarian conception of romantic love, there is no such distinction between romantic love and friendship. This paper shows that equally egalitarian alternatives to Thomas’s conceptions of love and friendship do suggest that friends should not be lovers. Moreover, the alternative view of romantic love defended in the paper supports a link between romantic love and sexual exclusivity
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