Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (3):229-251 (2004)

The essay undertakes to explore the possibilities of mutually fruitful dialogue between moral philosophy and ontology, in particular, the ontology of relations. The latter copes with the question of how relations relate, whereas moral philosophy often ignores the ontological implications of such crucial relations as love and interpersonality. The paper proceeds as follows. First, the ontology of relations is discussed. Second, various examples are analysed. From this, a conception of relation instantiation emerges, according to which to determine which relation actually obtains, one has to take into account (a) the context, (b) the specific content or meaning of the relation, and (c) some action or decision or mode of existence of the relata. This conception suggests that relation instantiation cannot be explained by a single formula. By the help of this conception, Hume''s thesis of the identity of killing relations between human and nonhuman beings is questioned. Then, the relation of love is analysed. It is shown that love as a moral relation is perfectly explicable in terms of ontology. Moreover, its essence is best captured by the interrelation of the particulars, the relation of love as a universal, and by the relating action of the particulars. Finally, the alleged relation of universal fraternity (interpersonality as such), linking up each human being to all other human beings, is discussed
Keywords context  instantiation  interpersonality  love  relations
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2005
DOI 10.1023/B:ETTA.0000042899.06985.91
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,374
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Relatio as Modus Essendi : The Origins of Henry of Ghent's Definition of Relation.Jos Decorte - 2002 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (3):309 – 336.
Modeling Relations.Joop Leo - 2008 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (4):353 - 385.
Tropes and Relations.Käthe Trettin - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 12:155-159.
Wittgenstein on Expectation, Action, and Internal Relations, 1930–1932.Andreas Blank - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (3):270 – 287.
Marx’s Ontology of the Praxis-Relations of Social Production.Wujin Yu - 2009 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):400-416.


Added to PP index

Total views
44 ( #231,714 of 2,420,515 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #542,979 of 2,420,515 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes