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Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself$
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Lenn E. Goodman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328820

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328820.001.0001

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 Love and the Ethical

 Love and the Ethical

(p.3) 1 Love and the Ethical
Love Thy Neighbour As Thyself

Lenn E. Goodman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter aims to put some flesh on the bones of the biblical commandment Love thy neighbor as thyself. Goodman situates the Mosaic ethics of love and its commands in behalf of existential desert and the dignity of personhood. Biblical and rabbinic thinking here and in particular in the work of the philosopher Bahya ibn Paquda stands out vividly alongside the ideas of Hobbes, Hume, Adam Smith, and John Rawls. It is not utility or the sheer positivity of the Law that motivates love of one's neighbor, or anything so abstract as Kantian duty, but the very claim the neighbor makes on us. In this light, the commandment becomes more robust and concrete, its expectations clarified and enlarged.

Keywords:   Love thy neighbor, rabbinic ethics, David Hume, Adam Smith, Bahya ibn Paquda, Immanuel Kant, Legal positivism (biblical), Dignity, Desert, John Rawls

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