Karol Wojtyla in full anti-Kantian mode ( Love and Responsibility , 125-6):

Persons are essentially self-mastering, sui juris , “and cannot be ceded to another or supplanted by another in another in any context where it must exercise its will or make a commitment affecting its freedom.” OK, so that part is kind of Kantian.

Then the anti-Kantian bit: “Love forcibly detaches the person, so to speak, from this natural inviolability and inalienability. It makes the person want to do just that - surrender itself to another, to the one it loves. The person no longer wishes to be its own exclusive property, but instead to become the property of that other. This means the renunciation of its autonomy and its alienability.”

And thereby the person loses its personhood, right? Heteronomy (bad) replaces autonomy (good). Not at all: Love “does not diminish and impoverish, but quite the contrary, enlarges and enriches the existence of the person. What might be called the law of ekstasis seems to operate here: the lover ‘goes outside’ the self to find a fuller existence in another.”

More on: Philosophy

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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