Sophia 60 (1):209-223 (2021)

David Cockburn
University of Wales Lampeter
The paper explores what it could mean to speak of love as involving a delight in ‘the simple actuality’ of another, or, as Buber does, of the ‘touchable’ human being as ‘unique and devoid of qualities’. Developing strands in Merleau-Ponty’s treatment of perception, it is argued that the relation between recognising this as a particular individual and recognising particular qualities in her may be close to the reverse of what might be supposed: a recognition of this distinctive smile being dependent on a recognition of who this is. The fundamental place of particulars, as opposed to kinds, in our thought about those we know and care for is developed in part through a phenomenological treatment of our perception of faces. That treatment is set in a context of the justification of our judgements about who someone is, and is linked with a critique of treatments of proper names of individuals in the spirit of Frege. It is in our speaking to those we know that we find a relation to a particular that is direct—not mediated by a description of its properties—that Russell sought in ‘knowledge by acquaintance’.
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DOI 10.1007/s11841-019-0729-2
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
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Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language.William P. Alston - 1970 - Philosophical Quarterly 20 (79):172-179.

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