Love of Whole Persons
According to quality theories of love, love is fitting by virtue of properties of the loved person. Despite their immediate plausibility, quality theories have met with many objections. Here I focus on two that strike at the heart of what makes the quality theory an appealing account of love, specifically, the theory’s ability to accommodate the fact that loving someone is a way of valuing them for who they are. The fungibility objection and the problem of love’s object maintain that if a person is loved on the basis of their qualities, they are not valued in the right kind of way. I propose a new kind of quality theory which both answers these objections and is independently well-motivated. Specifically, I argue that to love a person as a whole, one must value them as an organic unity.
KeywordsEmotion Love Love’s object Value theory Organic unities Quality theory
I thank Julia Annas, Connie Rosati, Mark Timmons, and anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
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