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Irrational Love: Taking Romeo and Juliet Seriously

McKeever, Natasha and Saunders, Joe (2022) 'Irrational Love: Taking Romeo and Juliet Seriously.', International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 30 (3). pp. 254-275.


This paper argues that there are important irrational elements to love. In the philosophical literature, we typically find that love is either thought of as rational or arational and that any irrational elements are thought to be defective, or extraneous to love itself. We argue, on the contrary, that irrationality is in part connected to what we find valuable about love. We focus on 3 basic elements of love: 1) Whom you love 2) How much you love them 3) How much of a role love plays in your life And in each case, we argue that love can be irrational and valuable.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Date accepted:22 July 2022
Date deposited:12 September 2022
Date of first online publication:15 September 2022
Date first made open access:18 November 2022

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