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Kierkegaard's Ethic of LoveDivine Commands and Moral Obligations$
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C. Stephen Evans

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199272174.001.0001

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Neighbour‐Love, Natural Loves, and Social Relations

Neighbour‐Love, Natural Loves, and Social Relations

(p.203) 9 Neighbour‐Love, Natural Loves, and Social Relations
Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love

C. Stephen Evans (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

When Kierkegaard tells us that we must not make ‘distinctions’ in our love, he does not mean that neighbour-love cannot coexist with such natural loves as romantic love and friendship. On the contrary: Kierkegaard believes that neighbour-love teaches us how to love the friend and the beloved as we should. Concrete, local activity is not the only kind of neighbour-love that is possible or appropriate. Broader, cooperative efforts for those whom one may never meet fall within the scope of the divine command to love one’s neighbour as oneself, and this may require political and social action of a type that Kierkegaard himself does not endorse.

Keywords:   cooperative action, friendship, Kierkegaard, neighbour-love, romantic love, social action, Works of Love

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