Declaration and Bestowal: A Love Story

Sophia 61 (4):887-901 (2022)
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Irving Singer has defended the thesis that the "fine gold thread" of love, its sine qua non, is the bestowal of value by the lover on the beloved, even in those cases where the love itself is grounded in a positive appraisal of the beloved's attributes. He suggests that bestowal is a matter of elevating the importance of the beloved and his or her needs and interests above their appraised merit. I argue that love's bestowal is principally effected through speech acts of the kind that John Searle refers to as _Status Function Declarations_, the very same linguistic mechanism by which, according to him, all of social or institutional reality is created. On this picture, the roles of lover and beloved are shown to be status functions constituted by a deontology that delineates the partiality of the former towards the latter.



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Jeffrey Hershfield
Wichita State University

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Collective Intentions and Actions.John Searle - 1990 - In Philip R. Cohen Jerry Morgan & Martha Pollack (eds.), Intentions in Communication. MIT Press. pp. 401-415.
The Construction of Social Reality.John Searle - 1995 - Philosophy 71 (276):313-315.

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