Book

Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love

C. Stephen Evans

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780199272174
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602061 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199272174.001.0001

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love

Show Summary Details

Preview

Kierkegaard presents a form of divine command theory of moral obligation similar to accounts developed by Robert Adams and Philip Quinn. The account understands the relation humans have with a loving God as making possible the greatest human good, and as creating those unique obligations we designate as moral. God’s commands should be obeyed, not because of fear of divine punishment, but out of love and gratitude for the good that God has bestowed on humanity. Though God can and does address specific individuals, the fundamental divine command is the injunction – common to Judaism and Christianity – to love one’s neighbour as oneself. God’s commands are not arbitrary; they are directed at human flourishing and lead to genuine happiness, even though obedience to them requires self-denial and is not egoistically motivated. This Kierkegaardian ethic, found principally in Works of Love, has advantages over its contemporary secular rivals, such as evolutionary naturalism, social contract theories, and moral relativism. Additionally, this form of divine command theory resists the fundamental objections often posed against a religiously grounded ethic.

Keywords: divine command; ethics; human flourishing; humanity; Kierkegaard; naturalism; neighbour-love; meta-ethics; Philip Quinn; relativism; secularism; Robert Adams; social contract; Works of Love

Book.  376 pages. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »


Table of Contents

The Ethical Task as the Human Task in Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Divine Commands: How Given and To Whom? in Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Who Is My Neighbour? Can Love Be a Duty? in Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

See all items in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.