Love in Vain

Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (S1):45-50 (1997)
Kant famously argued in the Groundwork that our fundamental moral obligation is simply to respect the humanity in persons. However, his fuller view, found in the Metaphysic of Morals, is that the humanity in persons not only demands our respect, but also our love. Neither of these demands, of course, requires that we feel anything for others, and Kant is much more specific here about what constitutes respect between persons. But in elaborating this position he also claims that these demands are somehow opposed, as though love were a sort of moral gravity and respect a sort of moral centrifugal force, which together create a cohesive moral/social bond, but alone would allow “nothingness (immorality)... [to] drink up the whole kingdom of (moral) beings” (MdS 6:449). Marcia Baron, in her illuminating paper, argues that this and related remarks are surely an exaggeration. After all, respect sometimes requires that we come closer and love sometimes imposes limits. And not only does Kant ground all duties in respect, but this is the same philosopher who, early on in the Groundwork, claimed that the Christian command to “love our neighbor” must be understood as commanding, not a feeling, but “beneficence from duty” (G 4:399). Since acting from duty is acting out of respect, “practical” love itself requires respect. So why does he think that they are opposing forces?
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 1998
ISBN(s) 0038-4283
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.1998.tb01777.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 32,634
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
The Hiddenness Argument Revisited.J. L. Schellenberg - 2005 - Religious Studies 41 (3):287-303.
Shifting Frames: From Divided to Distributed Psychologies of Scientific Agents.Peter J. Taylor - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:304-310.
The Contemporary Significance of Confucianism.Tang Yijie & Yan Xin - 2008 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (4):477-501.
How Bad Is Rape?H. E. Baber - 1987 - Hypatia 2 (2):125-138.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
64 ( #94,138 of 2,236,115 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #446,600 of 2,236,115 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature