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Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Philosophy (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Simon Evnine

Second Committee Member

Bradford Cokelet

Third Committee Member

Thomas Hurka

Fourth Committee Member

J. David Velleman


This dissertation argues that the nature of love gives us reasons to accept a two-level ethical theory. A two-level ethical theory recommends a view of the world that conflicts with the view of the theory itself. Two-level theories face influential objections; the dissertation argues that changes in point of view over a life contain the basis of a reply to these objections. The dissertation focuses in particular on changes in love and supports a defense of a two-level approach to ethics by developing and defending an original view of love. Later chapters offer arguments about (1) the impact changes in love have on our well-being, and (2) recent disputes over whether specific theoretical approaches to ethics, such as virtue ethics and consequentialism, are two-level in objectionable ways.


ethical theory; love; two-level theories; consequentialism; virtue ethics; eudaimonia