Consciousness Thought

Love, Friendship, and the Self: Intimacy, Identification, by Bennett W. Helm

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By Bennett W. Helm

Contemporary Western idea has continuously emphasised the individualistic strand in our figuring out of individuals on the fee of the social strand. hence, it really is regularly proposal that people are self-determining and self reliant, the place those are understood to be capacities we workout such a lot totally on our personal, except others, whose impression on us has a tendency to undermine that autonomy. Love, Friendship, and the Self argues that we needs to reject a strongly individualistic notion of folks if we're to make feel of important interpersonal relationships and the significance they could have in our lives. It offers a brand new account of affection as intimate identity and of friendship as one of those plural enterprise, in every one case grounding and studying those notions when it comes to interpersonal feelings. on the middle of this account is an research of the way our emotional connectedness with others is vital to our very capacities for autonomy and self-determination: we're rational and self sustaining in basic terms as a result of and during our inherently social nature. by way of concentrating on the function that relationships of affection and friendship have either within the preliminary formation of our selves and within the on-going improvement and maturation of grownup folks, Helm considerably alters our figuring out of folks and the type of psychology we individuals have as ethical and social beings.

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Extra resources for Love, Friendship, and the Self: Intimacy, Identification, and the Social Nature of Persons

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Thus, Singer tries to avoid the conclusion that love is blind by appealing to the role of appraisal: it is only because we appraise another as having certain virtues and vices that we come to bestow value on him. ⁴⁵ In this respect, Singer’s account of the selectivity of love makes unintelligible the way in which our loves can be undertaken for better or worse reasons—can be more or less discerning. This is a systematic problem for any bestowal view. ⁴⁴ Singer, “From The Nature of Love,” 272; see also Singer, The Pursuit of Love, 139 ff.

This is a task I shall undertake primarily in Part II. ³⁴ This intuitive criticism of the robust-concern account will be cashed out in more detail later, in the introduction to Ch. 5. ³⁵ According to Whiting, we ought to understand our concern for our future selves as essentially the same in kind as our concern for our present friends. David Brink adopts an egocentric construal of Whiting’s account (or, more generally, any Aristotelian account) of concern, arguing that our personal concern for others must be understood in terms of the conceptually prior prudential concern for ourselves;³⁶ this is, of course, an acceptance of the egocentric conception of intimate concerns.

Whiting, “Friends and Future Selves,” Philosophical Review 95, no. 4 (1986): 547–80; Jennifer E. Whiting, “Impersonal Friends,” Monist 74 (1991): 3–29. ” ³⁷ Whiting, “Impersonal Friends,” 6. ³⁸ David O. Brink, “Eudaimonism, Love and Friendship, and Political Community,” Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (1999): 269. 20 introduction special concern does not merely have extrinsic significance. Rather, the importance of these relationships and of the concern we have for ourselves or our beloveds, is something that can be appreciated and justified only from within that relationship—only intrinsically, personally.

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