Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (5):987-1000 (2014)

Alexander Jech
University of Notre Dame
Love is practical, having to do with how we live our lives, and a central aspect of its practical orientation is the wish for union. Union is often considered in two forms—as a union of affections and as union in relationship. This paper considers both sorts of union and argues for their connection. I first discuss the union of interests in terms of the idea of attentive awareness that is focused upon the beloved individual and his or her concerns, life, and history. I then discuss union in relationship and show how this emerges from the attentive awareness in a desire to specify a determinate way of responding to the concerns that attentive awareness opens us to. I use the example of Jane Austen’s Emma throughout; the conduct of Austen’s heroine, who fails badly at loving well, shows by means of anti-example what is at stake in pursuing union as well as illustrating the close connection between the two aspects of union
Keywords Love  Action  Practical reason  Rationality  Relationship  Murdoch
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-014-9502-3
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References found in this work BETA

The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York: Schocken Books.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2004 - Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Love as a Moral Emotion.J. David Velleman - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):338-374.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2006 - Princeton University Press.

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