Volume 10, 2018
Reasons for Love: A Holistic Account
In the philosophy of love there is discussion about the reasons for love and how to understand them. According to the property-approach, reasons for love are grounded in features of the beloved; according to the relationship-approach, they are grounded in facts about the relationship. The property-approach seems to be intuitively the more plausible view, but it faces the problems of fungibility and continuity. The talk defends the property-approach by applying Dancy’s holistic conception of reasons to this question. This can solve the fungibility problem, since it only arises when reasons of love are understood atomistically. Furthermore, the continuity problem can be solved by applying the distinction of favorers (the features of the beloved) and enablers (the fact that it is this specific person who instantiates the features). If the beloved is understood as a general enabler, it is conceivable that the reasons for love change with the propertis of the beloved, making a continuity of love possible when the properties of the beloved change.