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date: 21 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

It is a common and plausible thought that love is one of the most important things in life. This essay sets out to explain why. After noting that outlooks like hedonism and stoicism fail to acknowledge love’s fundamental importance, the essay considers the variety of kinds of love, and argues that any love that involves caring deeply and personally about something for its own sake can have the relevant kind of importance. Specifically, love orients us in and roots us motivationally to the world in a way that self-interest does not. Consideration of how love would affect our attitude to Nozick’s experience machine reinforces this point.

Keywords: love’s importance, love’s variety, hedonism, stoicism, experience machine

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