The Irreplaceability of Persons
In Chapter 9 I suggested that there was a fundamental and crucially important distinction between ‘loving’ a particular set of psychological characteristics and loving a person. The emphasis of my discussion there was on the fact that to the extent that I am committed to an individual my commitment will survive changes in his characteristics. The other side of this, on which I touched briefly, is the fact that in so far as I am committed to an individual I do not think of him or her as a type; what is crucial to my thought about the other is not, or not simply, the fact that he or she satisfies a certain description which another person could, in principle, satisfy. There is an idea of irreplaceability which is central to the love of a particular individual.
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