Book Review: The Prudence of Love: How Possessing the Virtue of Love Benefits the Lover
Introduction: The book The Prudence of Love: How Possessing the Virtue of Love Benefits the Lover by Eric J. Silverman is a well-written and engaging work that furthers the discussion about what it means to regard love as a virtue. Prima facie it may seem odd to speak about possessing the virtue of love since that entails that “love” is a noun rather than a verb. Since “love” is typically used as a verb, perhaps some clarification here is in order. Treating “love” as a noun does not negate its active role. So, for instance, when Silverman defines love in a Neo-Thomistic way as “a disposition towards relationally appropriate acts of the will consisting of disinterested desires for the good of the beloved and desires for unity with the beloved, held as final ends” (19), he bridges the gap in these two senses of the word “love.” Having a loving disposition and, hence, possessing the virtue of love, necessarily manifests itself in relationally appropriate acts according to Silverman.