The Duplication of Love's Reasons

Tony Milligan

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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If X loves Y does it follow that X has reasons to love a physiologically exact replacement for Y? Can love's reasons be duplicated? One response to the problem is to suggest that X lacks reasons for loving such a duplicate because the reason-conferring properties of Y cannot be fully duplicated. But a concern, played upon by Derek Parfit, is that this response may result from a failure to take account of the psychological pressures of an actual duplication scenario. In the face of the actual loss of a loved one and the subsequent appearance of a duplicate, how could we resist the inclination to love? Drawing upon duplication scenarios from Parfit and from Stanislaw Lem's Solaris, this paper will argue that there could be reasons for X to come to love a duplicate of Y but that these would not be identical with the reasons that X had (and may still have) to love Y. Nor (in the case of an agent with a normal causal history) could they be reasons for a love that violates the requirement that love is a response to a relationship and therefore takes time to emerge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-323
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Explorations
Issue number3
Early online date12 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Love
  • Irreplaceability
  • Parfit
  • Lem


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