Philosophical Review 112 (2):135-189 (2003)

Authors
Niko Kolodny
University of California, Berkeley
Abstract
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 Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8108
DOI 10.1215/00318108-112-2-135
Options
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: 58,786
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Sexual Perversion.Thomas Nagel - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (1):5-17.
Three Conceptions of Rational Agency.R. Jay Wallace - 1999 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):217-242.
The Phenomena of Love and Hate.D. W. Hamlyn - 1978 - Philosophy 53 (203):5 - 20.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Quantified Relationship.John Danaher, Sven Nyholm & Brian D. Earp - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (2):3-19.
Loving People for Who They Are (Even When They Don't Love You Back).Sara Protasi - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):214-234.
Loving Someone in Particular.Benjamin Bagley - 2015 - Ethics 125 (2):477-507.
Love and the Value of a Life.Kieran Setiya - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (3):251-280.

View all 115 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Hiddenness Argument Revisited.J. L. Schellenberg - 2005 - Religious Studies 41 (3):287-303.
How Bad Is Rape?H. E. Baber - 1987 - Hypatia 2 (2):125-138.
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.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
809 ( #6,338 of 2,425,462 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
39 ( #21,248 of 2,425,462 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes