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Grant number like: FB-50294-04

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Bennett W. Helm
Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, PA 17603-2827)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006

Love, Friendship, and the Self: The Emotional and Interpersonal Grounds of Autonomy

Western thought tends to understand persons in primarily individualist and cognitivist terms. In my previous work, I've attacked the cognitivist side, arguing that we need to understand our affective lives as a central part of our capacity for practical reasoning and autonomy. The aim of my current research is to criticize the pervasive emphasis on individuality, by focusing on the role relationships of love and friendship have, both in the initial formation of our selves and in the on-going development and maturation of adult persons. The upshot will be a reorientation of our understanding of persons as moral and social beings, a reorientation in which our emotional connectedness with others is understood to be central to our very capacities for autonomy and self-determination: we are rational, autonomous and thereby inherently social animals. This will result in a book manuscript, Love, Friendship And The Self: The Emotional And Interpersonal Grounds Of Autonomy.