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Minimizing Marriage – Marriage, Morality, and the Law - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Minimizing Marriage: Marriage, Morality, and the Law

Elizabeth Brake


Even in secular contexts, marriage retains sacramental connotations. Yet what is its moral significance? This book examines its morally salient features – promise, commitment, care, and contract – with surprising results. In Part One, “De-Moralizing Marriage,” essays on promise and commitment argue that we cannot promise to love and so wedding vows are (mostly) failed promises, and that marriage may be a poor commitment strategy. The book contends with philosophical defenses of marriage to argue that marriage has no inherent moral significance. Further, privileging marriage sustains amatonorma ... More

Keywords: marriage, same-sex marriage, polygamy, care networks, promises, commitment, care, amatonormativity, liberalism, feminism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199774142
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199774142.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Elizabeth Brake, author
Arizona State University.

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