Love as a (Kantian-like) Moral Emotion

I first read J. David Velleman’s Self to Self: Selected Essays(Cambridge University Press, 2006) when it came out over ten years ago; reading it afresh leaves me far more impressed and moved by its arguments and insights. I used to discuss the chapter, “The Genesis of Shame” in my class on comparative world religions. It’s a moral and philosophical meditation on the Adam and Eve story in Genesis, which I thought gave the students a taste of what it means to look at religious narratives as (possibly) containing “interpretations” and “meanings” that stretch beyond those emphasized by adherents to a tradition or subscribers to a specific worldview (it was not intended to belittle or deny what those believers thought about this same material), much as we understand good literature to be “speaking” in some manner to all of us (of course we need not agree on what it is saying, but its qualities appeal to our nature as…

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