In defence of a faith-like model of love: a reply to John Lippitt’s “Kierkegaard and the problem of special relationships: Ferreira, Krishek, and the ‘God filter”’

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 75 (2):155-166 (2014)
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In his major work on love, Works of Love, Kierkegaard clearly and robustly affirms the moral superiority of neighbourly love, and approves preferential love on one condition: that it serve as an instance of neighbourly love. But can an essentially preferential love be an instance of the essentially non-preferential neighbourly love? John Lippitt seems to think it can. In his paper “Kierkegaard and the problem of special relationships: Ferreira, Krishek, and the ‘God filter”’ he defends Kierkegaard’s position in Works of Love against my criticism (as presented in my book Kierkegaard on Faith and Love); specifically, against my claim that in using Kierkegaard’s view of neighbourly love as a framework for understanding preferential love, one fails to account for the latter’s distinctive character. Lippitt claims that I misinterpret Kierkegaard’s position and, using what he calls ‘the God filter’, he attempts to show how adhering to Kierkegaard’s view of neighbourly love allows one to sustain the distinctiveness (and value) of preferential love. In what follows I will defend my interpretation of Kierkegaard’s position and explain why I take the view he presents in Works of Love to be problematic. Furthermore, in my aforementioned book I offer a Kierkegaardian model of love that does precisely what Lippitt seeks his ‘God filter’ model to do: namely, preserve the distinctiveness of preferential love while allowing its possible coexistence with neighbourly love. Thus, against the background of Lippitt’s criticism I will demonstrate this model again, in hope of clarifying the advantages this view offers



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Sharon Krishek
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Citations of this work

Love and Self-Sacrifice: Kierkegaard, Maimonides and the Poor Spouse Predicament.N. Verbin - 2022 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 93 (2):121-145.

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Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980.Bernard Williams - 1981 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50 (1):115-152.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2004 - Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2006 - Princeton University Press.
Moral Luck.Bernard Williams - 1981 - Critica 17 (51):101-105.

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