love is a particular mode of caring. It is an involuntary, non- utilitarian rigidly focused, and ...self-affirming concern for the existence and the good of what is loved. The object of love can be almost anything---a life, a quality of experience, a person, a group, a moral ideal, a non-moral ideal, a tradition. whatever. The lover's concern is rigidly focused in that there can be no equivalent substitute for its object....His concern is non-utilitarian in that he cares about his beloved for its own sake, rather than only as a means to some other goal....he benefits when his beloved flourishes; and he suffers when it is harmed. ...lover identifies himself with what he loves. The consists in the lover accepting the interest of his beloved as his own......Moreover, because the beloved may be entirely unaware of the love,...loving entails no special obligation to the beloved.......Love is ...involuntary, in that it is not under the immediate control of the will. page 41
Parents do not ordinary love their children so much, for example , because they perceive that their children possess exceptional value. In fact, it is the other way around: the children seem to the parents to be valuable, and they are valuable to the parents, only because the parents love them. Parents have been known to love----quite genuinely---children that they themselves recognize as lacking any particular inherent merit.
the lover does not depend for his loving upon reasons of any kind. Love is not a conclusion It is not an outcome of reasoning, or a consequence of reasons. It creates reasons.page 25
(Taking ourselves seriously Getting it right. Harry G. Frankfurt)
This is powerful notion of love and Franfurt attempts to locate the meaning of a personal life in the activities of loving in his book.
Not all reasons for action are desire dependent nor are they future-oriented.
The system of political status functions works at least in par because recognized deontic powers provides desire-independent reasons for action....page 101 If my Chairman asks me to sere on a committee then , If recognize his position as Charmian, I have a reason for doing so, even if committees are boring and there are no penalties for my refusal. page 102 (John R Searl/Freedom & Neurobiology)
Why are you driving to Doncaster?
Because I'm taking my uncles ashes to where he wants them to be scattered.(Future)
Why are you doing that?
Because I promised him I would.(Past)
But he is dead, so why do you feel the need to honour that promise? He'll never know.
Because it's important to me that I'm the kind of person who keeps his word. (present)
(page 27 what's it all about" Julian Baggini)
But love in Frankfurt's sense is the central force that drives your life and action to go on.