Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Loving another person is often considered to be harmful to the lover’s autonomy. This chapter presents a different view. It defends an account of love as a special kind of desire for “deep conversation” with the beloved. On this basis, it is argued that love is not only not harmful but in fact beneficial to the lover’s autonomy. Love also makes lovers vulnerable in a number of ways on the conception put forward here. This is in part because the beloved is irreplaceable to the lover. In certain contexts, these vulnerabilities can give rise to behavior that harms autonomy. But ultimately, this kind of behavior is inessential to love. By contrast, the aspects of love that promote the lover’s autonomy are essential to what love is.

Keywords: love, autonomy, desire, irreplaceability, vulnerability, Plato, Kant

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.