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Love’s Reasons

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  1. Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (New York: Knopf, 2013), pp. 104–120.

  2. Kyla Ebels-Duggan, “Against Beneficence: A Normative Account of Love,” Ethics 119 (Oct. 2008): 142–170.

  3. “Against Beneficence,” p. 144. Ebels-Duggan cites Harry Frankfurt’s essays, “Autonomy, Necessity, and Love,” and “On Caring,” both in his Necessity, Volition, and Love (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999), as representative of the benefactor view.

  4. Ibid., p. 156.

  5. See “Against Beneficence,” 162, footnote 29.

  6. For more complete accounts of cooperative pursuits and commitments see Michael Bratman’s account of shared cooperative activity (SCA) in Bratman, Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Intention and Agency (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), as well as Margaret Gilbert’s Joint Commitment: How We Make the Social World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

  7. Again, for more thorough accounts see Bratman, op. cit., and Gilbert, op. cit.

  8. Indeed, it seems to me that the presence of shared ends is an important feature that distinguishes loving relationships between competent adults and loving relationships between children and adults.

  9. See “Against Beneficence,” p. 143.

  10. I do not wish to assert the very strong claim that there can be no relationship between two parties in the absence of a shared end. However, it is worth noting that the absence of shared ends seems to be a prevalent feature of morally problematic relationships.

  11. Ibid., pp. 156–157; emphasis mine.

  12. I am grateful to an anonymous referee for prompting me to pursue this line of thought.

  13. Ebels-Duggan’s use of phrases like “pursue your partner’s ends” and “advance your beloved’s ends” suggests the identical ends interpretation of sharing in another’s end.

  14. Ibid., pp. 152–155.

  15. Ebels-Duggan’s description of how you ought to accommodate and promote your brother’s end of writing a novel – “you should respect his aim to spend afternoons writing by not dropping by for announced visits” – seems more in line with the nonidentical ends interpretation of sharing in another’s end than the identical ends interpretation.

  16. “Against Beneficence,” p. 169.

  17. Ibid.

  18. Ibid.

  19. Ibid.

  20. Ibid.

  21. Ibid., p. 156.

  22. I wish to thank an anonymous referee for suggesting this response to me.

  23. Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals, trans. Mary Gregor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 146–149 (6:381–385).

  24. Though, as noted above, selection authority is not always equal.

  25. By ordinary cases I mean cases where your beloved’s agency is not impaired.

  26. “Against Beneficence,” p. 144.

  27. Ibid., p. 148.

  28. “Against Beneficence,” p. 151.

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Correspondence to Melissa Seymour Fahmy.

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Fahmy, M.S. Love’s Reasons. J Value Inquiry 50, 153–168 (2016).

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  • Loving Relationship
  • Normative Implication
  • Helicopter Parent
  • Hybrid View
  • Spousal Relationship