Love as valuing a relationship

Philosophical Review 112 (2):135-189 (2003)
At first glance, love seems to be a psychological state for which there are normative reasons: a state that, if all goes well, is an appropriate or fitting response to something independent of itself. Love for one’s parent, child, or friend is fitting, one wants to say, if anything is. On reflection, however, it is elusive what reasons for love might be. It is natural to assume that they would be nonrelational features of the person one loves, something about her in her own right. According to the “quality theory,” for example, reasons for love are the beloved’s personal attributes, such as her wit and beauty. In J. David Velleman’s provocative and ingeniously argued proposal, the reason for love is the beloved’s bare Kantian personhood, her capacity for rational choice and valuation.1 But no such nonrelational feature works. To appreciate just one difficulty, observe that whatever nonrelational feature one selects as the reason for love will be one that another person could, or actually does, possess. The claim that nonrelational features are reasons for love implies, absurdly, that insofar as one’s love for Jane is responsive to its reasons, it will accept any relevantly similar person as a replacement
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1215/00318108-112-2-135
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,217
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Hichem Naar (2013). A Dispositional Theory of Love. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):342-357.
Ingrid V. Albrecht (2015). How We Hurt The Ones We Love. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2).
Christopher Grau (2010). Love and History. Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (3):246-271.

View all 39 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

283 ( #9,382 of 1,932,453 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

29 ( #17,374 of 1,932,453 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.