European Journal of Philosophy 24 (3):580-606 (2016)

Christopher Arroyo
Providence College
Although recent Kant scholarship has focused on Kant's treatment of various emotions, one that has not received much attention is love. There are three main reasons for this. First, Kant does not have a single, sustained analysis of the emotion of love; what he does say appears scattered throughout his corpus. Second, Kant identifies a number of different kinds of love, and it is not always clear which kinds are emotions or how the different kinds of love are related. Finally, in general Kant is quite critical of the emotion of love, and his critical remarks seem not to fit with the intuitions of some people when it comes to some of the more positive instances of love. In this paper I pursue two related aims. First, I identify and sort out the different kinds of love in Kant's writings, and I address a particular difficulty of interpretation, namely the status of love of human beings in Kant's writings. Second, I argue that, despite Kant's criticisms of the emotion of love, he views it as an expression of our unsocial sociability, and it plays a positive and indispensible role in the moral development of human beings.
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DOI 10.1111/ejop.12128
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