Loving on Drugs or from the Heart: Thesis on the Love Enhancement Debate
Baren, R. van
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Nowadays, monogamous relationships seem to have an expiration date. Separation between partners is more omnipresent than it used to be and this influences the experience of wellbeing of the involved partners and children. The proposal of love enhancement suggests that this issue could be counteracted by the use of love-enhancing techniques. These techniques could bring back and maintain the feelings of love and accordingly repair relationships. In this thesis, I analyze whether it is morally desirable to use love-enhancing techniques in a medical context in order to solve the separation-issue and eventually increase wellbeing. It is argued that the proposal of love enhancement misses out on the most important aspect of love; the internal disposition of the ability to love. Instead of externally influencing the initial feelings of ‘falling and being in love’, love is most desirably cultivated from within. This argument is developed by analyzing if the proponents’ conception of love is morally desirable, if the proposed means of love enhancement are desirable and if the proposed approach is most desirably applied when the aim is to increase wellbeing. The conclusion of this thesis is that when the aim is to increase wellbeing, it is more morally desirable to respect people’s ability to act autonomous, their ability to reflect upon the reasons to love and to respect the complexity and subjectivity of situations.