Philosophy Compass 9 (8):507-517 (2014)

Aaron Smuts
Rhode Island College
Are there normative reasons for love? More specifically, is it possible to rationally justify love? Or can we at best provide explanations for why we love? In Part I of this entry, I discuss the nature of love, theories of emotion, and what it takes to justify an attitude. In Part II, I provide an overview of the various positions one might take on the rational justification of love. I focus on the debate between defenders of the no-reasons view and the reasons view. Along the way, I discuss the significance of falling in love, the problem of trading up, and the notion of irreplaceability. I evaluate attempts to justify love based on the intrinsic and the relational properties of the beloved
Keywords love  emotion  no-reasons view  rationality of emotion  luck  justifying attitudes
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1111/phc3.12168
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: 55,909
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 69 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Reasons to Forgive.Per-Erik Milam - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):242-251.
Do We Love For Reasons?Yongming Han - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Subject-Centred Reasons and Bestowal Love.Dwayne Moore - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (1):62-77.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
243 ( #34,960 of 2,403,022 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #68,384 of 2,403,022 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes