Love: gloriously amoral and arational

Philosophical Explorations 16 (3):298 - 314 (2013)
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Abstract

I argue that an evaluational conception of love collides with the way we value love. That way allows that love has causes, but not reasons, and it recognizes and celebrates a love that refuses to justify itself. Love has unjustified selectivity, due to its arbitrary causes. That imposes a non-tradability norm. A love for reasons, rational love or evaluational love would be propositional, and it therefore allows that the people we love are tradable commodities. A moralized conception of love is no less committed to treating those we love as tradable commodities; it is just that they are tradable moral commodities. An evaluative criterion of adequacy, I suggest, encourages the opposite view ? a non-rational and non-evaluational concept of love. Such a love can set up partial obligations, which may even demand that one sacrifice one's life. Only a love that has causes but not reasons can have the kind of value that we think love has, and thus it would only be rational to pursue and foster such a love

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Nick Zangwill
University College London

Citations of this work

Do We Love For Reasons?Yongming Han - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):106-126.
The aesthetics of coming to know someone.James H. P. Lewis - 2023 - Philosophical Studies (5-6):1-16.

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References found in this work

Mortal questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
On Certainty (ed. Anscombe and von Wright).Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1969 - San Francisco: Harper Torchbooks. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe, G. H. von Wright & Mel Bochner.
Ruling Passions: A Theory of Practical Reasoning.Simon Blackburn - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press UK.
The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York,: Schocken Books.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2004 - Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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