A book on ethics and philosophy of values

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Our so-called ‘love’ could be nothing but a kind of disguised contempt - disguised in love.
A distressing question arises: is there at least something that we really love? Or are our feelings just disguised contempt, in reality?

In fact, there is a way of knowing this. To recognise whether our relationship with a thing is disguised contempt, all we have to do is find out whether our relationship with the thing is based on an insult, that is, whether it violates one of the essential requirements of love.

We have seen that one of the essential conditions of love is to be able to show how what we want to love has value. However, we have long before defended the idea that values were unfounded, that we had not yet found the basis of values, and that we were therefore unable to show the value of what we love or the negative value of what we hate.

It seems, then, that until an axiology is constituted as a science and resolves the problem it has set itself the task of resolving - the problem of values - our loves turn out to be kinds of contempt in disguise, because our relationship to things and beings is of the form: "I love you, without knowing why", or "I love you, without reason". Or again: until the problem of values is resolved, the human possibility of love remains to be thought through.

Admittedly, the idea seems absurd. It seems that there are indeed great loves (Romeo and Juliet, etc.). To this I would reply that I am not denying the existence of (great) feelings, but the existence of love; and love is not just a feeling, as I have suggested.
On the other hand, I am conceding not that they love each other, but that they "want to love each other"; they would die to love each other, but they do not manage to bring that love to fulfilment. In fact, this is a classic doctrine: love is conceived as an ideal, a demand towards which we have strived indefinitely without ever being able to attain it. It is the possibility of achieving this seemingly infinite task that we are raising again.

So love becomes a problem. To solve it, it seems that we need to explore what we have called the "hidden face of love", that is, to grasp the nature of the essential conditions that love carries with it; we need, if we may use this image, to draw up the "Tablets of the laws of love".

As long as this task is not accomplished, we run the risk of seeing our love degrade, without our realising it, into disguised contempt.
The best example we can give of this phenomenon is that which affects, not everyday, concrete behaviour, but those axiological doctrines we have already examined: subjectivism and eclecticism.