Love and Resistance: Moral Solidarity in the Face of Perceptual Failure

Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 2 (2):1-21 (2016)
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In this paper I explore how we ought to respond to the problematic inner lives of those that we love. I argue for an understanding of love that is radical and challenging—a powerful form of resistance within the confines of everyday relationships. I argue that love, far from the platitudinous and saccharine view, does not call for our acceptance of others’ failings. Instead, loving another means believing in their potential to grow and holding them to account when they fail. I argue that loving others means meeting them where they are and working to understand the role that oppressive ideologies, coupled with cognitive biases, play in generating and entrenching their problematic mental states. I then argue that we ought not disengage with our loved ones or write them off as lost causes, nor should we accept that we will simply “agree to disagree.” Instead, we should stand in moral solidarity with our loved ones and press them to become better while simultaneously understanding that such moral growth is usually a slow and painful process—often, the project of a lifetime.



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Barrett Emerick
St. Mary's College of Maryland

Citations of this work

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