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Document Details :

Title: Love and Resilience
Author(s): VITRANO, Christine
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 20    Issue: 4   Date: 2013   
Pages: 591-604
DOI: 10.2143/EP.20.4.3005351

Abstract :
Recent studies indicate that many people demonstrate resilience to the loss of a spouse, and are able to return fairly quickly to their normal levels of subjective well-being. The question I address here is whether these empirical findings support scepticism about the importance of our loved ones. I argue that we have reason to doubt the correlation posited by the sceptic between the importance of a person’s spouse and his or her reaction to spousal loss. Extreme devastation may not be a sign of love, but may only indicate a person’s dependence on his or her spouse. I also argue that one cannot draw any meaningful conclusions about the value of a loved one on the basis of their reaction to loss, for those reactions will be influenced by factors such as replaceability, which need not correlate with love. I conclude that resilience offers no reason for scepticism about the depth of spousal love.

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