Disinterested Love: Understanding Leibniz's Reconciliation of Self- and Other-Regarding Motives

Abstract
While he was in the employ of the Elector of Mainz, between 1668 and 1671, Leibniz produced a series of important studies in natural law. One of these, dated between 1670 and 1671, is especially noteworthy since it contains Leibniz's earliest sustained attempt to develop an account of justice. Central to this account is the notion of what Leibniz would later come to call `disinterested love', a notion that remained essentially unchanged in Leibniz's work from this period to the end of his life. Through his notion of disinterested love, Leibniz sought to resolve the supposed conflict between self- and other-regarding motives. For a variety of reasons, many commentators have failed to understand the basis of Leibniz's proposed resolution. My purpose in the present paper is to clarify the terms in which Leibniz effected this resolution, as well as to point out important developments in his later thought concerning the relation between pleasure, good, and happiness
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Citations of this work BETA
Christopher Johns (2013). Leibniz, Pufendorf, and the Possibility of Moral Self-Governance. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (2):281 - 301.
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