Frankfurt And Frankfurt: If People Loves The Needy Person

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In this essay I will explain what Frankfurt means when he states that if someone loves the needy person, and helps him by giving him money; it stands as an explanation to why he helps him, but does not explain the reason why he helps him. I will also briefly explain Frankfurt’s definitions of love and duty, and the problem with these definitions in his example of a needy man. I also want to argue that Frankfurt contradicts his own definition of love when applying it to a needy man. Frankfurt believes that there are two explanations to why people would give money to a needy man; out of love, and out of duty. He also believes that these explanations do not stand as reasons for helping the needy man. What he means by this is that there is a distinction between explanations why someone would perform an action and the reasons why they would perform this action. In the process of distinguishing between an action performed out of duty, and an action performed out of love, Frankfurt concludes that a person who gives money to a needy man out of duty would do so to conform to moral norms. In contrast, a person who gives money to a needy man out of love would do so not out of moral obligation, but rather due to the fact that they love them. Frankfurt believes that loving the needy man is not a valid reason for giving money to him, as the reason…show more content…
Firstly the love must be ‘devoted’, and ‘non-voluntary’. This means that there is no choice in loving someone. Decisions are made with no contemplation and you can’t decide to stop loving them. Decisions that you make regarding whom you love are direct and there is no thought about duty. He also insists that love is ‘disinterested’. This implies that your interest is only the person you love, and your love with that person is the ultimate end goal. Therefore one must be selfless, and only want what is best for whom they love. (p.

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