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LOVE AS A REACTIVE EMOTION

Authors

  • Kate Abramson,

  • Adam Leite


Abstract

One variety of love is familiar in everyday life and qualifies in every reasonable sense as a reactive attitude. ‘Reactive love’ is paradigmatically (a) an affectionate attachment to another person, (b) appropriately felt as a non-self-interested response to particular kinds of morally laudable features of character expressed by the loved one in interaction with the lover, and (c) paradigmatically manifested in certain kinds of acts of goodwill and characteristic affective, desiderative and other motivational responses (including other-regarding concern and a desire to be with the beloved). ‘Virtues of intimacy’ as expressed in interaction with the lover are agent-relative reasons for reactive love, and like other reactive attitudes, reactive love generates reasons in its own right. Within a broad conception of the virtues, reactive love sheds light on the reactive attitudes more generally.

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