Browsing Philosophic Exchange by Subject "Love"
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Love and DutyThe thesis of this paper is that there is an important asymmetry between a duty to love and a duty to not love: there is no duty to love as a fitting response to someone’s very good qualities, but there is a duty to not love as a fitting response to someone’s very bad qualities. The source of the asymmetry that I discuss is the two-part understanding of love: the emotional part and the evaluative commitment part. One cannot directly, or “at will,” control an emotional response, but one can undermine any commitment one would normally have under the circumstances. Thus, the feeling of love is not a duty, though being disposed to act a certain way with respect to the person one has the feelings for is controllable.