Four Questions Concerning Love and Friendship

Detta är en avhandling från University of Gothenburg

Sammanfattning: This thesis contributes to the contemporary, analytic philosophical debate about love and friendship. Part of this debate concerns the apparent paradox that, while the fact that a person is your loved one doesn’t make her more worthy of concern than any other, still you ought sometimes to treat her better than others. In Chapter 2, I defend impartialism – the view that all justified partiality is necessarily justified from an impartial point of view – against traditional and new criticism of its indirectness. In Chapter 3, I discuss the idea that in order to qualify as a good friend, you need to be partial not only emotionally and in actions, but also with regards to beliefs about your friend. I argue that there is no interesting conflict between friendship norms and mainstream epistemic norms, and present an account of character assessments within friendship as a way of supporting my case. In Chapter 4, I discuss two seemingly inconsistent components of an influential Western, contemporary romantic love ideal: We want to be loved in part because we have something that reasonably appeals to our lover. At the same time we want to be loved unconditionally, regardless of what more or less appealing properties we may gain or lose. I argue that we at closer inspection desire stable, but not unconditional, love, and suggest that this requires a kind of commitment that in turn requires a preparedness to make greater efforts and sacrifices than what has been suggested in the philosophical literature. In Chapter 5, I ask how our intuitions about rational constraints on romantic love should be accounted for. I argue that the view on which love cannot be justified as a response to normative reasons becomes more plausible once we look at how love can be rationalized, as in rendered intelligible, in terms of coherence with the rest of the lover’s attitudes.

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