HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 21 no. Special Edition (2020)

THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF LOVE

Corazon T. Toralba

 

Abstract:

Being in a relationship and having a communal life is incompatible with an independent life, some have claimed. Relating to and caring for others could somehow threaten one’s prized autonomy. To be a parent or a spouse calls for a change in one’s lifestyle. A person may willingly take upon himself/herself such a relationship or for it to be simply dumped into him/her. An adjustment when another person becomes part of his or her solitary existence would have to be made. In whatever way a person comes into such situations, that other human being with whom that fated person relates to or cares for he/she could be a better person or worse. Using Wojtyla’s notion of virtuous love, this essay examines how virtuous love could be transformative. This paper explains how the person’s autonomy is further enhanced, and personality reaffirmed if a person learns how to love. This aim is achieved by discussing the objective and subjective elements of love and then moving on to the integration of these two elements into a love worthy of the beloved and the lover. Further, it draws out the consequences of that transformative love for marital, family, community, and societal life.