The concept of romantic love is a complex concept which is, partly because of this complexity, both powerful and dangerous. Romanticism arose in Europe as a reaction to the one-dimensional rationalism of the Enlightenment. Although by no means exclusively atheistic or even deist, enlightenment thinkers tended to undermine religious conceptions of love and sexual morality. Love was either rehabilitated as something of essentially divine origin or posited as a distinct and irreducible metaphysical category. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was an important critic of Enlightenment rationalism and source of Romanticism. He berates the corruption of 'civilized' society and its casual libertinism. The transformative power of love raises the individual to the level of moral liberty by limiting the otherwise boundless sexual desires that express our natural liberty. Rousseau's Romantic philosophy is elaborated in his epistolary novel, Julie, or the New Eloise, in which he fleshes out a conception of romantic love that inspired a generation of writers and philosophers.
|Title of host publication||The Radicalism of Romantic Love|
|Subtitle of host publication||Critical Perspectives|
|Editors||Renata Grossi, David West|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2017|
|Name||The Radicalism of Romantic Love: Critical Perspectives|