Valuing Love and Valuing the Self

Tony Milligan

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David Velleman’s influential analytic reworking of Iris Murdoch’s account of love is problematic. It proposes a rapprochement between Murdochian love and Kantian respect. Both are taken to be responses to, and recognitions of, personhood. I shall try to show that Velleman’s emphasis upon recognition (hence vision) is faithful to Murdoch, but his treatment of love as (i) a purely cognitive response; and (ii) a response which is oriented towards sheer personhood, departs from her position. Murdochian love is both cognitive and connative, it includes desire oriented towards particular others. The paper will go on to address a problem that Velleman’s reading of Murdoch obscures, the problem of recognizing self-worth without appealing to self-love. I will suggest a way in which Murdoch can manage to do so by attending to the importance of seeing ourselves in the light of another’s love.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConvivium: Revista de Filosofia
Issue number26
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2013
EventDepartment of Philosophy, University of Barcelona, Iris Murdoch Seminar - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 15 Jul 2011 → …


  • Self-love
  • Iris Murdoch
  • David Velleman


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