International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 34, Issue 1, Spring 2020

Stephen KershnarOrcid-ID
Pages 137-155

Love is Independent of Moral Responsibility

A concern that accompanies the recognition that people are not morally responsible is how this affects our relationships. In particular, there is concern as to whether the absence of these things eliminates or lessens love. Love is relevant on some of the most plausible theories of well-being. In particular, it might be thought to cause pleasure and fulfill desires and thus bring about well-being on hedonist and desire-fulfillment theories of well-being. It might also be included on the objective list of things that make someone’s life go better independent of pleasure and desire-fulfillment. In this article, I argue for the Intense Pro-Attitude Theory, specifically, that love is a disjunctive combination of intense affective, cognitive, intentional, and valuational pro-attitudes that focus on something’s well-being. If this account is correct, then love is empirically and conceptually independent of moral responsibility. Hence, love is independent of moral responsibility.