Love and history

Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (3):246-271 (2010)
In this essay, I argue that a proper understanding of the historicity of love requires an appreciation of the irreplaceability of the beloved. I do this through a consideration of ideas that were first put forward by Robert Kraut in “Love De Re” (1986). I also evaluate Amelie Rorty's criticisms of Kraut's thesis in “The Historicity of Psychological Attitudes: Love is Not Love Which Alters Not When It Alteration Finds” (1986). I argue that Rorty fundamentally misunderstands Kraut's Kripkean analogy, and I go on to criticize her claim that concern over the proper object of love should be best understood as a concern over constancy. This leads me to an elaboration of the distinct senses in which love can be seen as historical. I end with a further defense of the irreplaceability of the beloved and a discussion of the relevance of recent debates over the importance of personal identity for an adequate account of the historical dimension of love.
Keywords love  history  causal theory  personal identity  irreplaceability
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DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2010.00030.x
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Tony Milligan (2013). The Duplication of Love's Reasons. Philosophical Explorations 16 (3):315 - 323.

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