In defence of a quality-view of love. A respond to central critic points and problems and an approach to incorporate Schopenhauer’s concept of pity as a source of reasons for love.

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This is a paper on theories that are discussed under the term quality-view of love: people have reasons for love that are beliefs and evaluations about qualities of beloved persons. Different theories propose different kinds of qualities that make love justified. In this paper I discuss the various problems of the main theories in this field and how they can cope with criticism. In chapter 5.3 I will propose a category of reasons for love that are not typically associated with positive evaluations, but that can be reasons for love anyway.

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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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On the relation between love and Kantian respect.
Can love be an appropriate response to a person? In this paper, I argue that it can. First, I discuss the reasons why we might think this question should be answered in the negative. This will help us clarify the question itself. Then I argue that, even though extant accounts of reasons for love are inadequate, there remains the suspicion that there must be something about people which make our love for them appropriate. Being lovable, I contend, is what makes our love for them appropriate, just as being fearsome is what makes our fear of certain situations appropriate. I finally propose a general account of this property which avoids the major problems facing the extant accounts of reasons for love.
This essay is about love and its place in ethics. It argues that there is no one it is irrational to love, that it is rational to act with partiality to those we love, and that the rationality of doing so is not conditional on love. It follows that Anscombe and Taurek are right: you are not required to save three instead of one, even when those you could save are perfect strangers.
One variety of love is familiar in everyday life and qualifies in every reasonable sense as a reactive attitude. `Reactive love' is paradigmatically (a) an affectionate attachment to another person, (b) appropriately felt as a non-self-interested response to particular kinds of morally laudable features of character expressed by the loved one in interaction with the lover, and (c) paradigmatically manifested in certain kinds of acts of goodwill and characteristic affective, desiderative and other motivational responses (including other-regarding concern and a desire to be with the beloved). `Virtues of intimacy' as expressed in interaction with the lover are agent-relative reasons for reactive love, and like other reactive attitudes, reactive love generates reasons in its own right. Within a broad conception of the virtues, reactive love sheds light on the reactive attitudes more generally.
Humeans claim that all motivation is by desire. Anti-Humeans maintain that some beliefs can motivate all by themselves. This dispute, I argue, hinges on the question whether belief can rationalize motivation. Moreover, I argue belief can rationalize motivation since rationality requires that one be motivated to phi if one believes one has most reason to phi f, and it is possible to be motivated to phi because one believes one has most reason to phi and one exercises one's capacity for rational agency.
Empirical evidence indicates that bereaved spouses are surprisingly muted in their responses to their loss, and that after a few months many of the bereaved return to their emotional baseline. Psychologists think this is good news: resilience is adaptive, and we should welcome evidence that there is less suffering in the world. I explore various reasons we might have for regretting our resilience, both because of what resilience tells us about our own significance vis-à-vis loved ones, and because resilience may render us incapable of comprehending how things really stand, value-wise. I also compare our actual dispositions to extreme alternatives ("sub-resilience" and "super-resilience"), and consider whether we might endorse (plain) resilience as a kind of mean.
  • Arthur Schopenhauer
Schopenhauer, Arthur: Hauptwerke: Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (vollständige Ausgabe), Die Kunst Recht zu behalten, Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit, Nikol Verlag, Hamburg 2014.