Love and Responsibility [Karol Wojtyla, Grzegorz Ignatik] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this classic work, readers are given a window. 18 quotes from Love and Responsibility: ‘A person’s rightful due is to be treated as an object of love, not as an object Karol Wojtyla, Amor e Responsabilidade. Msgr Karol Wojtyla’s Love and Responsibility (Amour et responsabilit?, Paris ) was function in building up genuine human love comes to light. In spite of.

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Karol Wojtyla’s Love and Responsibility: This book, published in Polish in and in English inis a magnificent work, philosophical in nature, on the human person, human sexuality, love, and marriage. It is, however, a somewhat difficult book to read, posing many challenges to the reader. I believe that I have now read it at least 30 times and each time I learn something new. It is such a great work that the thought set forth in it needs to be known by as many people as possible.

Here I attempt to summarize as clearly as possible its major ideas in the hope that this will be helpful to many. The book has five chapters: The Person and the Sexual Urge; Two: The Person and Love; Three: The Person and Chastity; Four: Justice to the Creator; and Five: I will now attempt to responsibipity them.

The Person and the Sexual Karil. This chapter has two major parts: Analysis of the Verb “to Use”. Wojtyla affirms that wnd beings differ radically from animals insofar as they are persons and thus have an “inner self,” and “interior life” pp.

As persons, human beings are incommunicable and inalienable irreplaceable p. Note that in a later section Wojtyla resonsibility affirms that “a child, even an unborn child, cannot be denied personality in its most objective ontological sense, although it is true that it has yet to acquire, step loev step, many of the traits which will make it psychologically and ethically a distinct personality” p. This is most important because it makes it clear that Wojtyla holds that unborn children are indeed persons and responsibilkty not become persons at some stage of development.

Love and Responsibility – Wikipedia

The second subsection, “The First Meaning of the Verb, ‘to Use,'” identifies this first meaning as the employment of “some object of action as a means to an end” p.

Man’s relationship to other creatures is one of use in this sense. Even here there are restraints on what man can rightly do; in treating animals, for instance, “man is required to ensure that the use of these creatures is never attended by suffering or physical torture” p. Now while it is true that men “use” other human beings as means to ends other than the persons themselves, Wojtyla insists that “a person must not be kaeol the means to an end for another person,” since this is precluded “by the very nature of personhood” p.

In an aside, as it were, Wojtyla also affirms that “the education of children The third subsection, “‘Love’ as the Opposite of ‘Using’,” seeks to find a positive solution to the problem woutyla the proper attitude to have toward a person. Wojtyla insists that love is possible only if there is a “bond of a common good ” uniting persons. Indeed, “Man’s capacity for love depends on his willingness consciously to ksrol a good together with others, and to subordinate himself to that good for the sake of others, or to others for the sake of that good.

Love is exclusively the portion of human persons ” pp. He likewise insists that love begins as a principle or idea that people must live up to. He applies all this to marriage, which is one of the most important areas where the principle that love is possible only if there is some common good is applicable.

Love and Responsibility Quotes

In marriage, he says, “a man and a woman are united in such a way that they become in a sense ‘one flesh,’ Such an end, where marriage is concerned, is procreation, the future generation, a family, and, at the same time, the continual ripening of the relationship between two people, in all the areas of activity which conjugal life includes” p.

In concluding this section Wojtyla considers the man-woman relationship in its widest sense and maintains that the love he is talking about “is identified with a particular readiness to subordinate oneself to that good, which ‘humanity’, or more precisely, the value of the person represents, regardless of the difference of sex” p. In other words, the value of the person is the “common good” uniting men and women in love. The fourth subsection, “The Second Meaning of the Verb, ‘to Use’,” identifies that meaning as signifying “enjoyment,” i.


At times human persons are the sources of pleasure and enjoyment. It is here that sexual morality comes into play, “not only because persons are aware of the purpose of sexual life, but also because they are aware that they are persons. The whole moral problem of ‘using’ as the antithesis of love is connected with this knowledge of theirs” p.

Man can make pleasure the aim of his activity use in its second sense. One can “use” another person as a means of obtaining pleasure. Wojtyla’s thesis is that “the belief that a human being is a person leads to the acceptance of the postulate that enjoyment must be subordinated to love” p. This leads him to offer a critical analysis of utilitarianism. The fifth subsection is his “Critique of Utilitarianism. Wojtyla then exposes the superficiality of which erects the subjective experience of pleasure into the “common good” uniting persons and argues instead that there must be an objective common good as the foundation for true love between persons pp.

Utilitarians at times respond to criticism of this kind by holding that the pleasure they seek to maximize is to be enjoyed subjectively by the greatest number. The trouble with this is that “‘love’ in this utilitarian conception is a union of egoisms, which can hold together only on condition that they confront each other with nothing unpleasant, nothing to conflict with their mutual pleasure.

But this simply means that human beings use each other as means of obtaining their own subjective experience of pleasure. The person becomes a mere instrument to obtaining pleasant experiences p. The sixth subsection, “The Commandment to Love, and the Personalistic Norm,” begins with a statement of the love commandment of scriptures. Wojtyla holds that utilitarianism is incompatible with this commandment, but to make this incompatibility explicit it is necessary to show that the love commandment is rooted in what Wojtyla calls the personalistic norm.

In its positive form the personalist norm confirms this: This norm, so Kantian in tone, is then explained: The whole matter is then related to the realm of sexuality.

Interpretation of the Sexual Urge. This part of chapter 1 contains 7 subsections. The first, called “Instinct or Urge,” or perhaps “Instinct or Impulse,” argues that in man the sexual drive is better called an “urge” or “impulse” than an instinct. An instinct is merely a “reflex mode of action,” not dependent on conscious thought p.

Love and Responsibility

Since man, however, is a being who is by nature “capable of rising above instinct in his actions,” and can do so in the sexual sphere as well as elsewhere, it is far better to speak of the sexual “urge.

The sexual urge in this conception is a natural drive born in all human beings, a vector of aspiration along which their whole existence develops and perfects itself from within” p.

It “creates as it were a base for definite actions, for considered actions in which man exercises self-dominion This property permeating the whole existence of man is a force which manifests itself not only in what ‘happens’ involuntarily in the human body, the senses and the emotions, but also in that which takes shape with the aid of the will” p.

In the next subsection, “The Sexual Urge as an Attribute of the Individual,” Wojtyla emphasizes that every human being is a sexual being, and that “membership of one of the two sexes means that a person’s whole existence has a particular orientation which shows itself in his or her actual internal development” p.

This orientation is felt both internally and turns outward, having as its object “the other sex” as a complex of distinctive properties. Wojtyla says that if we look at sex exclusively from the outside we can “define it as a specific synthesis of attributes which manifest themselves clearly in the psychological and physiological structure of man” p.

He then raises the question: Wojtyla believes that the second alternative is correct inasmuch as the sexual loev is even more basic that the psychological and physiological attributes of man and woman.

In addition, the sexual urge is not fully defined as an orientation towards these attributes of the other sex as such: The natural direction of the sexual urge is towards a human being of the opposite sex and not merely towards ‘the other sex’ as such. It is just because it is directed towards a particular human being that the sexual urge can provide the framework within which, and the basis on which, the possibility of love arises Love, however, is “given its definitive shape by acts of will at the level of the person ” p.

The sexual urge in man “functions differently from the urge in animals, where it is the source of instinctive actions governed by nature alone. In man it is naturally subordinate to the will, and ipso facto subject to the specific dynamics of that freedom which the will possesses” p. This is an exceptionally important section. Wojtyla stresses that “existence is the first and basic good of every creature,” and that the sexual urge in man has an “existential significance, for it is bound up with the whole existence of the species Homo ” p.


But homo is a person, and hence the sexual urge as orienting us toward the existence of the species man as its proper end is something deeply personal. This is most significant. Unlike some “personalists,” Wojtyla does not regard the procreative meaning of human sexuality as something merely biological that must be assumed into consciousness in order to become personal; rather it is personal, for it is this meaning of human sexuality that is oriented to the preservation of the species, to the prolongation of persons.

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Hence, ersponsibility the sexual urge is there for man to use, it must never be used in the absence of, or worse still, in a way which contradicts, love for the person” p. It wojttyla follows, he urges, that deliberate attempts to impede the existential procreative significance of the sexual urge will have a damaging effect upon love between persons p. In Wojtlya judgment, it is the link between the sexual urge and the existence of human persons that wojyla the sexual urge its objective importance and meaning” p.

This is reflected in the character of true conjugal love of persons who “facilitate the existence of another concrete person, their own child, blood of their blood, and flesh of their flesh In the following section, “The Religious Interpretation,” Wojtyla stresses that the love of human persons, who transcend the material universe, while being fertile in the biological sense wojtylla of the sexual urge, is likewise fertile in the spiritual, moral, and personal sphere p.

The sexual urge in man, who is a created being, is linked to the divine order “inasmuch as it is realized under the constant influence of God the Creator.

A man and a woman, through their conjugal life and a full sexual relationship, link themselves with that order, agree to take a special part in the work of creation” p.

The generation of new human persons is indeed an act of procreation: The next section, “The Rigorist Interpretation,” repudiates the rigorist or puritanical interpretation of the sexual urge, which claims that in using man and woman to assure the existence of the species Homo God himself “uses” persons as means to an end, with the corollary that conjugal life and conjugal union are only instrumental goods.

To the contrary, the qnd of man and woman in sexual intercourse, if loge chosen and justifed by true [marital] love between persons, is something good in itself, so that we cannot maintain that in using men and women united in marriage to continue the species God is using them merely as means to an end: In the next section, “The ‘Libidinist’ Interpretation,” Wojtyla attacks the view, common to Freud and many today, that the sexual urge is essentially a drive for enjoyment, for pleasure.

To the contrary, man is capable of understanding the part the sexual urge plays in the divine order and realizes the existential, personal meaning of the sexual urge. It has to responsibllity with that most precious of goods, the person p.

In his “Final Observations” Wojtyla speaks of the traditional “ends” of marriage: These ends are to be realized on the basis of the personalistic norm: This norm is a “principle on which the proper realization of each of the aims mentioned, and of all of them together, depends–and by proper I mean in a manner befitting man as a person.

This chapter is rich in content responxibility also somewhat difficult. The long chapter has three major parts, each divided into sections.

Metaphysical Analysis of Love.

After a brief introduction on the almost inexhaustible richness of meaning found in the word “love,” Wojtyla focuses on three basic elements in any form of human, interpersonal love, namely attraction, desire, and goodwill. He then takes up the problem of reciprocity of love between human persons, the movement from sympathy to love, and concludes this part with a discussion of betrothed love. Wojtyla takes as his starting point the fact that ” love is always a mutual relationship between persons ,” a relationship based on “particular attitudes toward the good, adopted wojtya each of them individually and by both jointly” p.