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

Paperback | February 15, 2012

byBennett W. Helm

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Recent Western thought has consistently emphasized the individualistic strand in our understanding of persons at the expense of the social strand. Thus, it is generally thought that persons are self-determining and autonomous, where these are understood to be capacities we exercise most fullyon our own, apart from others, whose influence on us tends to undermine that autonomy. Love, Friendship, and the Self argues that we must reject a strongly individualistic conception of persons if we are to make sense of significant interpersonal relationships and the importance they can have in ourlives.It presents a new account of love as intimate identification and of friendship as a kind of plural agency, in each case grounding and analyzing these notions in terms of interpersonal emotions. At the center of this account is an analysis of how our emotional connectedness with others is essentialto our very capacities for autonomy and self-determination: we are rational and autonomous only because of and through our inherently social nature. By focusing on the role that relationships of love and friendship have both in the initial formation of our selves and in the on-going development andmaturation of adult persons, Helm significantly alters our understanding of persons and the kind of psychology we persons have as moral and social beings.

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Recent Western thought has consistently emphasized the individualistic strand in our understanding of persons at the expense of the social strand. Thus, it is generally thought that persons are self-determining and autonomous, where these are understood to be capacities we exercise most fullyon our own, apart from others, whose influen...

Bennett W. Helm is Professor of Philosophy at Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania. His philosophical interests center around understanding the place of emotions and caring in our concept of a person. His work has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the American ...

other books by Bennett W. Helm

Format:PaperbackDimensions:334 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:February 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199642567

ISBN - 13:9780199642564

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Table of Contents

1. IntroductionPart I Caring2. Agency, Emotions, and the Problem of Import3. Caring about OthersPart II Loving4. Values: Loving Oneself5. Love As Intimate Identification6. Justification and Non-Fungibility of LovePart III Friendship and the Self7. Paternalistic Love and External Reasons8. Friends Are Other SelvesPostscriptBibliographyIndex