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I love my spouse, but I suspect (I think I believe the are) they are cheating on me, and I've even heard my friends gossip about my spouse's affairs etc.. But I love my spouse, so do not think I know - at least for certain - anything is wrong and feel like nothing has changed, despite that being irrational. I can tell you why I love my spouse, and

  • few people cheat on their devoted spouse

but this induction is in fact much weaker than the best explanation (infidelity).


If it turns out my spouse wasn't having an affair, did I know that they were not, due to 'love'?

I'm guessing no, but would anyone - any philosopher - claim otherwise? If not, then am I just deluded by love - despite being right - or what exactly?

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  • i suppose it depends on 'knowledge': if you need justification and belief then no
    – user66697
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 9:36
  • Depends on your definition of 'to know'. The broadest, historically defensible characterization is JTB. Under this definition, you cannot know false things.
    – J D
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 19:24
  • 'Monogamous Prairie Voles Reveal the Neurobiology of Love' scientificamerican.com/article/…
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 19:50
  • One might interpret your epistemic situation as Gettier-like, where you have a justified true belief, but where the justification provided by your love is not quite knowledge-producing evidence. Actually, as far as I know, you might've stumbled upon an interesting species of Gettier case, where we have moral/ethical/spiritual justification of a true belief, where the justification is not accidentally linked to the truth, yet still doesn't produce knowledge! (But perhaps such cases have been noticed before; I'm not too up to date on the extent of Gettier theory, so to speak). Commented Jul 8, 2023 at 2:57
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    @doot_s: Love is the only engine of survival, as Leonard Cohen puts it. But how attached we are to monogamy, seems like it could relate to just one chemical switch. Monogamy is just a pretty sketchy way to ensure paternity. Good communication & being honest & open with each other, is a much better way, & that's assuming children are even relevant. We do a lot of work on ourselves through relationships, affairs are not always just about ego or sensual gratification, they can involve psychological change & growth that might not be possible otherwise.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 22:18

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I love my spouse

What does this mean? And I'm not making light of your question. Does your love mean absolute forgiveness of all behavior?

but I suspect (I think I believe the are) they are cheating on me, and I've even heard my friends gossip about my spouse's affairs etc.

Statements like: "I suspect" or "I think I believe they are" show either a reluctance to believe or a sincere lack of sufficient evidence. If it's true, do you forgive and ignore future similar behavior?

But I love my spouse, so do not think I know - at least for certain - anything is wrong and feel like nothing has changed, despite that being irrational.

Ignorance is bliss

If it turns out my spouse wasn't having an affair, did I know that they were not, due to 'love'?

Either your spouse was having an affair or not and your belief will be backed by evidence. Your love (and I apologize if this sounds harsh) appears irrelevant unless it is used to sway your beliefs regarding evidence.

Love is not rational. It does not help make sense of knowledge. In some instances, knowledge is distorted by love. At best, impartiality (recommended for rational choices) is compromised.

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