The Concept of Love in 17th and 18th Century Philosophy

Edited by Gábor Boros, Herman De Dijn, and Martin Moors

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“Love is joy with the accompanying idea of an external cause.” Spinoza’s definition of love (Ethics Book 3, Prop. LIX) manifests a major paradigm shift achieved by seventeenth century Europe in which the emotions, formerly seen as normative “forces of nature,” were embraced by the new science of the mind. We are determined to volition by causes. This shift has often been seen as a transition from a philosophy laden with implicit values and assumptions to a more scientific and value-free way of understanding human action. But is this rational approach really value-free? Today we incline to believe that values are inescapable, and that the descriptive-mechanical method implies its own set of values. Yet the assertion by Spinoza, Malebranche, Leibniz, and Enlightenment thinkers that love guides us to wisdom—and even that the love of a God who creates and maintains order and harmony in the world forms the core of ethical behaviour—still resonates powerfully with us. It is, evidently, an idea we are unwilling to relinquish. This collection of insightful essays emerged from two “ContactFora” organized within the framework of the research project Actuality of the Enlightenment: The Moral Science of Emotions, conducted under the auspices of Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van Belgie voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten. It offers a range of important and fascinating perspectives on how the triumph of “reason” affected not only our scientific-philosophical understanding of the emotions and especially of love, but our everyday understanding as well.

Introduction
G. Boros, H. De Dijn, M. Moors

Cartesian Subjectivity and Love
Denis Kambouchner

The Role of Amicitia in Political Life
Susan James

L'apparition de l'amour de soi dans l'Éthique
Chantal Jaquet

Spinoza über Liebe und Erkenntnis
Wolfgang Bartuschat

Leibniz on Love
Gábor Boros

Malebranche on Natural and Free Loves
Tad Schmaltz

The Problem of Conscience and Order in the Amour-pur Debate
Dániel Schmal

Love of God and Love of Creatures: The Masham-Astell Exchange
Catherine Wilson

The Theory and Regulation of Love in 17th Century Philosophy
Catherine Wilson

Frances Hutcheson: From Moral Sense to Spectatorial Rights
Aaron Garrett

Philosophy as medicina mentis? Hume and Spinoza on Emotions and Wisdom
Willem Lemmens

The Depth of the Heart -; “even if a bit tumultuous”. On Compassion and Erotic Love in Diderot's Ethics
Miklós Vassányi

Motivational Internalism: A Kantian Perpective on Moral Motives and Reasons
Heiner Klemme

Kant on: “Love God above all, and your Neighbour as yourself”
Martin Moors

Format: Edited volume - paperback

Size: 234 × 155 × 20 mm

270 pages

ISBN: 9789058676511

Publication: January 25, 2008

Languages: English

Stock item number: 54273

Gábor Boros is Professor of Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy of the Faculty of Arts of Lorand Eotvos University Budapest.
Herman De Dijn is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven.
Martin Moors is Professor of Metaphysics and Philosophy of Religion and Head of the Department of Metaphysics and Modern Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven.