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date: 24 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an overview of some key themes in Kierkegaard’s writings on love. After a brief discussion of love in Either/Or and Fear and Trembling, it concentrates on Works of Love. It explores the centrality of divine love and the distinction between love of the neighbor and “preferential loves” such as erotic love and friendship, arguing that for Kierkegaard preferential loves at their best are infused with neighbor-love. It goes on to argue that Kierkegaard’s “vision” view of love anticipates aspects of contemporary such views, such as that of Troy Jollimore. But for Kierkegaard, agapic neighbor-love (and not just erotic love and friendship) requires attention to the particularities of the person loved, so neighbor-love is not just generalized benevolence. Finally, the chapter briefly sketches how the foregoing insights may be applied to the task of distinguishing proper from improper self-love.

Keywords: Kierkegaard, agape, divine love, neighbor-love, erotic love, friendship, love’s vision, self-love

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