Tough Love

Florida Philosophical Review 5 (1):35-44 (2005)
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In this paper I examine Bernard Williams’ claim that an appealing conception of love can come into conflict with impartial morality. First, I explain how Williams’ claim can survive one strategy to head off the possibility of conflict. I then examine J.D.Velleman’s Kantian conception of love as another possible way to reject Williams’ claim. I argue, however, that Velleman’s attempt to transcend love’s partiality in his account of love produces an unappealing and unconvincing ideal. This is made particularly clear, I suggest, by the analysis that Velleman is forced to give of the kind of case that generated Williams’ observations in the first place. Thus Velleman’s account should be rejected
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