Love, Reasons, and Replaceability

Critica 53 (158):3-21 (2021)
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Lovers typically entertain two sorts of thoughts about their beloveds. On the one hand, they think that some qualities of their beloveds provide reasons for loving them. Romeo would say that he loves Juliet in virtue of the way she is. On the other hand, they regard their beloveds as irreplaceable. Romeo would never be willing to exchange Juliet with another maiden. Yet it may be asked how these two sorts of thoughts can coherently coexist. If some qualities of Juliet justify Romeo’s love for her, shouldn’t another maiden with the same qualities be equally lovable for him? This paper draws some distinctions that we take to be crucial to the understanding of reasons for love. Its aim is to show that, even though the claim that beloveds as irreplaceable is plausible to some extent, there is at least one interesting sense in which lovers are replaceable.

Author Profiles

Andrea Iacona
Università di Torino
José Antonio Díez Calzada
Universitat de Barcelona


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