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Krebs on Dialogical Love
By S. Matthew Liao

Professor Angelika Krebs (University of Basel) will be giving a talk on Monday, Feb. 22, at the Oxford Moral Philosophy Seminar entitled “Dialogical Love.” A copy of Professor Kreb’s talk can be found here. Professor Krebs would welcome any comments/suggestions. Here’s an abstract of her talk:

Love, says Martin Buber, is not about each partner having the other as his or her object, love is between the partners. It is dialogical. Lovers share what is important in their emotional and practical lives. The talk begins to give some substance to this idea by studying a literary example, Isabel Archer’s quest for dialogical love in Henry James’ novel The Portrait of a Lady. The talk then analyzes the notions of shared action and of shared feeling, drawing on three main sources: phenomenological studies on joint feeling from the beginning of the last century (especially Max Scheler’s distinction between four forms of sympathy), the contemporary analytical debate on joint action, and the contemporary philosophy of emotion (especially Martha Nussbaum’s cognitivism). The main contention of the talk is that the dialogical model of love is superior to the various monological models which are main-stream in philosophy today. Neither Harry Frankfurt’s care model nor Martha Nussbaum’s radiance model get to the heart of what love between two adults can be.


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