The Reasons of Love

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller On Bullshit, a profound meditation on how and why we love


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Jan 13, 2009
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In The Reasons of Love, leading moral philosopher and bestselling author Harry Frankfurt argues that the key to a fulfilled life is to pursue wholeheartedly what one cares about, that love is the most authoritative form of caring, and that the purest form of love is, in a complicated way, self-love. Through caring, we infuse the world with meaning. Caring provides us with stable ambitions and concerns, and it shapes the framework of aims and interests within which we lead our lives. Love is a nonvoluntary, disinterested concern for the flourishing of what we love—and self-love, as distinct from self-indulgence, is at heart of this concern. The most elementary form of self-love is no more than the desire to love, and self-love is simply a commitment to finding meaning in our lives.

Awards and Recognition

  • Winner of the 2004 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Philosophy, Association of American Publishers
  • Harry G. Frankfurt, 2017 Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecturer, American Council of Learned Societies