The author argues that love should play a central role in philosophy (and ethics). In the past, philosophical practice has been too narrowly defined by theory and explanation. Although unquestionably important, they do not belong to the very core of our philosophizing. Philosophy is primarily a way of life, centered on the soul and the development of our humanity – in its most diverse aspects and to its utmost potential. For such a life to be possible, love must play a central role in philosophy and philosophy should be understood not in the traditional sense as “the love of wisdom,” but in a new way – as the wisdom of love.
The author examines our conflicting attitudes regarding the proper value of human life. While the main issue initially appears to deal with whether or not human life has an intrinsic (or absolute) value, it turns out that a far more important and complex issue concerns the tension between the equal value of every human life and the differences in the quality of one’s life. The author discusses the views of Kant, Schweitzer, Berlin, Scheler, and then Hartmann, in whose views the author recognizes the most important contributions to this puzzle.