Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Love Me for Me
When I hear people say "Love me for me" what I often hear is, "Love me because I'm really awesome in spite of everything obviously bad about me."
Can we love people without loving something about that person? I sometimes jokingly tell my four-year-old son that I don't love him.
Johno: "No, Dad, you love me!"
Me: "Why would I love YOU?"
Johno: "Because I'm your son!" [or sometimes "I don't know. But you love me."]
Loving my son because he's my son is loving him because of something about him--he's my son. Could I love my son Jonathan stripped down of everything about him? What would that be like? It would be like loving a haecceity. But one can't cognize haecceities (if there are such things) for there is no "aboutness" to them. And one presumably can't love what can't be cognized.
Loving someone because of certain qualities, though, shouldn't be confused with loving those qualities. It is someone with certain qualities that I love; I might love certain of those qualities as well, but one loves the person with qualities and the person is not a mere collection of qualities.