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date: 17 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter proposes that the question “What is love?” be given an ontological treatment. Rather than asking whether love can be identified with a familiar mental phenomenon (desire, emotion, etc.), it suggests that we should first ask what kind of phenomenon love is, where a kind should here be understood as the most general category to which a given phenomenon belongs, an inquiry that is largely missing from contemporary discussions about love. After motivating this project, the chapter discusses and rejects a view according to which love is a certain kind of pattern or process, and then argues that love should be conceived of as a certain kind of state, namely a dispositional state.

Keywords: love, ontology, emotion, processes, dispositions, powers, metaphysics

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