Love as Human Struggle

Questioning Love with the Young Hegel, Sartre and Butler

  • Marta Vero Università di Pisa
Keywords: Love, Struggle, Hegel, Sartre, Butler, Melancholy


In this paper I aim to contest Paul Kottman’s thesis that love is human freedom by arguing that love is instead the human struggle for life. I will outline a dialectic of love to demonstrate that love is often interconnected with elements of unfreedom. I define love as a struggle for life, and defend this definition using an early fragment written by Hegel – with the related commentary of Judith Butler - and Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. I will also claim that a melancholic attitude in love could be opposed to the romantic idea of love, an idea which is endorsed by power, permeates social structures and is very dangerous. At the end of my essay, I will ask whether it is still possible to love freely, even in a world permeated by death.