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The Nature of LoveCourtly and Romantic$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262512732

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262512732.001.0001

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Love in Three Italian Poets Petrarch, Cavalcanti, Dante

Love in Three Italian Poets Petrarch, Cavalcanti, Dante

(p.129) 5 Love in Three Italian Poets Petrarch, Cavalcanti, Dante
The Nature of Love

Irving Singer

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses how the Hegelian dialectic is similar to the dialectical play within the thinking of the Middle Ages when it comes to the conflict between religious love and courtly love. If the notion of self-transcendence, as proposed by Hegel, is used as an occasional tool, this conflict may be resolved in ways that cause both religious and courtly love to change. This double self-transcendence does not always occur, as it did not with either Aquinas or Andreas, but both antagonists changed significantly, as Hegel would have predicted. In a way, each destroys but also preserves the other, keeping one another alive so that they can regenerate in the future in better circumstances. In medieval philosophy, religious love was such a dominant force that it modified the courtly ideas of poets such as Petrarch, Dante, Cavalcanti, and other practitioners of the dolce stil nuovo.

Keywords:   Hegelian dialectic, religious love, courtly love, self-transcendence, medieval philosophy, Petrarch, Dante, Cavalcanti, dolce stil nuovo

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