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  1. The Value of Sacrifices.Jörg Https://Orcidorg Löschke - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (3):399-418.
    ABSTRACTMost authors who discuss the normative impact of sacrifices do so with regards to the impact that a sacrifice can have on the practical reasons of the agent who makes it. A different and underappreciated phenomenon of sacrifices is their other-regarding normative impact: the sacrifice of person A can have an impact on the practical reasons of person B, either by generating practical reasons for B to act in certain ways or by intensifying existing reasons of B for specific courses (...)
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  • Scales for Scope: A New Solution to the Scope Problem for Pro-Attitude-Based Well-Being.Hasko von Kriegstein - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (4):417-438.
    Theories of well-being that give an important role to satisfied pro-attitudes need to account for the fact that, intuitively, the scope of possible objects of pro-attitudes seems much wider than the scope of things, states, or events that affect our well-being. Parfit famously illustrated this with his wish that a stranger may recover from an illness: it seems implausible that the stranger’s recovery would constitute a benefit for Parfit. There is no consensus in the literature about how to rule out (...)
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  • Why Be Moral? Can the Psychological Literature on Well-Being Shed any Light?Valerie Tiberius - 2013 - Res Philosophica 90 (3):347-364.
    In Plato’s dialogue the Republic, Glaucon challenges Socrates to prove that the just (or moral) life is better or more advantageous than the unjust one. Socrates’s answer to the challenge is notoriously unsatisfying. Could new research on well-being in philosophy and psychology allow us to do better? After distinguishing two different approaches to the question “why be moral?” I argue that while new research on well-being does not provide an answer that would satisfy Glaucon, it does shed light on the (...)
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  • The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
    I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally responsible for the (...)
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  • Hausman and McPherson on welfare economics and preference satisfaction theories of welfare: A critical note.Alexander F. Sarch - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (1):141-159.
    Hausman and McPherson defend welfare economics by claiming that even if welfare does not consist in preference satisfaction, preferences still provide good, if fallible, evidence of welfare. I argue that this strategy does not yet fully solve the problems for welfare economics stemming from the preference satisfaction theory of welfare. More work is needed to show that our self-interested preferences are sufficiently reliable, or in some other sense our best, evidence of well-being. Thus, my aim is to identify the challenges (...)
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  • Values, Agency, and Welfare.Jason R. Raibley - 2013 - Philosophical Topics 41 (1):187-214.
    The values-based approach to welfare holds that it is good for one to realize goals, activities, and relationships with which one strongly (and stably) identifies. This approach preserves the subjectivity of welfare while affirming that a life well lived must be active, engaged, and subjectively meaningful. As opposed to more objective theories, it is unified, naturalistic, and ontologically parsimonious. However, it faces objections concerning the possibility of self-sacrifice, disinterested and paradoxical values, and values that are out of sync with physical (...)
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  • The Passing of Temporal Well-Being.Ben Bramble - 2017 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    The philosophical study of well-being concerns what makes lives good for their subjects. It is now standard among philosophers to distinguish between two kinds of well-being: - lifetime well-being, i.e., how good a person's life was for him or her considered as a whole, and - temporal well-being, i.e., how well off someone was, or how they fared, at a particular moment in time or over a period of time longer than a moment but shorter than a whole life, say, (...)
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  • Desire and motivation in desire theories of well-being.Atus Mariqueo-Russell - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (7):1975-1994.
    Desire theories of well-being claim that how well our life goes for us is solely determined by the fulfilment and frustration of our desires. Several writers have argued that these theories are incorrect because they fail to capture the harms of self-sacrifice and severe depression. In this paper, I argue that desire theories of well-being can account for the harm of both phenomena by rejecting proportionalism about desire and motivation. This is the view that desires always motivate proportionally to their (...)
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  • Well‐being, part 2: Theories of well‐being.Eden Lin - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (2):e12813.
    Theories of well-being purport to identify the features of lives, and of intervals within lives, in virtue of which some people are high in well-being and others are low in well-being. They also purport to identify the properties that make some events or states of affairs good for a person and other events or states of affairs bad for a person. This article surveys some of the main theories of well-being, with an emphasis on work published since the turn of (...)
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  • Enumeration and explanation in theories of welfare.Eden Lin - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):65-73.
    It has become commonplace to distinguish enumerative theories of welfare, which tell us which things are good for us, from explanatory theories, which tell us why the things that are good for us have that status. It has also been claimed that while hedonism and objective list theories are enumerative but not explanatory, desire satisfactionism is explanatory but not enumerative. In this paper, I argue that this is mistaken. When properly understood, every major theory of welfare is both enumerative and (...)
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  • Subjectivism without Idealization and Adaptive Preferences.Stéphane Lemaire - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (1):85-100.
    Subjectivism about well-being holds that an object contributes to one's well-being to the extent that one has a pro-attitude toward this object under certain conditions. Most subjectivists have contended that these conditions should be ideal. One reason in favor of this idea is that when people adapt their pro-attitudes to situations of oppression, the levels of well-being they may attain is diminished. Nevertheless, I first argue that appealing to idealized conditions of autonomy or any other condition to erase or replace (...)
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  • Dying for a Cause: Meaning, Commitment, and Self-Sacrifice.Antti Kauppinen - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 90:57-80.
    Some people willingly risk or give up their lives for something they deeply believe in, for instance standing up to a dictator. A good example of this are members of the White Rose student resistance group, who rebelled against the Nazi regime and paid for it with their lives. I argue that when the cause is good, such risky activities (and even deaths themselves) can contribute to meaning in life in its different forms – meaning-as-mattering, meaning-as-purpose, and meaning-as-intelligibility. Such cases (...)
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  • Which Desires Are Relevant to Well‐Being?Chris Heathwood - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):664-688.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of well-being says, in its simplest form, that a person’s level of welfare is determined by the extent to which their desires are satisfied. A question faced by anyone attracted to such a view is, *Which desires*? This paper proposes a new answer to this question by characterizing a distinction among desires that isn’t much discussed in the well-being literature. This is the distinction between what a person wants in a merely behavioral sense, in that the person (...)
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  • The problem of defective desires.Chris Heathwood - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):487 – 504.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of welfare says, roughly, that one's life goes well to the extent that one's desires are satisfied. On standard 'actualist' versions of the theory, it doesn't matter what you desire. So long as you are getting what you actually want – whatever it is – things are going well for you. There is widespread agreement that these standard versions are incorrect, because we can desire things that are bad for us -– in other words, because there are (...)
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  • Well-Being Policy: What Standard of Well-Being?Daniel M. Haybron & Valerie Tiberius - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (4):712--733.
    ABSTRACT:This paper examines the norms that should guide policies aimed at promoting happiness or, more broadly, well-being. In particular, we take up the question of which conception of well-being should govern well-being policy, assuming some such policies to be legitimate. In answer, we lay out a case for ‘pragmatic subjectivism’: given widely accepted principles of respect for persons, well-being policy may not assume any view of well-being, subjectivist or objectivist. Rather, it should promote what its intended beneficiaries see as good (...)
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  • Making desires satisfied, making satisfied desires.Alexander Dietz - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (3):979-999.
    In this paper, I explore a fundamental but under-appreciated distinction between two ways of understanding the desire-satisfaction theory of well-being. According to proactive desire satisfactionism, a person is benefited by the acquisition of new satisfied desires. According to reactive desire satisfactionism, a person can be benefited only by the satisfaction of their existing desires. I first offer an overview of this distinction. I then canvass several ways of developing a general formulation of desire satisfactionism that would capture the reactive view, (...)
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  • Rethinking Hare's Analysis of Moral Thinking.Steven Daskal - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (2):181-198.
    R. M. Hare has an ambitious project of arguing from a limited set of premises about the nature of moral thought and language all the way to substantive utilitarian conclusions. I reconstruct Hare's argument, identify an important problem for Hare, and then develop and endorse a restricted Hare-like argument. This argument is less ambitious than Hare's, and does not substantiate utilitarian conclusions on its own, but I demonstrate that it nonetheless imposes important constraints on moral judgements and I indicate how (...)
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  • Sacrifices of Self.Vanessa Carbonell - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (1):53-72.
    We emerge from certain activities with an altered sense of self. Whether returning from a warzone or from an experience as common as caring for an aging parent, one might remark, “I’m not the same person I was.” I argue that such transformations are relevant to debates about what morality requires of us. To undergo an alteration in one’s self is to make a special kind of sacrifice, a sacrifice of self. Since projects can be more or less morally obligatory (...)
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  • Sacrifice and Relational Well-Being.Vanessa Carbonell - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (3):335-353.
    The well-being account of sacrifice says that sacrifices are gross losses of well-being. This account is attractive because it explains the relationship between sacrifice and moral obligation. However, sacrifices made on behalf of loved ones may cause trouble for the account. Loving sacrifices occur in a context where the agent’s well-being and the beneficiary’s well-being are intertwined. They present a challenge to individualism about well-being. Drawing inspiration from feminist philosophers and bioethicists, I argue that a notion of ‘relational well-being’, analogous (...)
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  • Preferring to Decrease One's Own Well-Being.John Bronsteen - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (1):52-64.
    Many scholars have argued that well-being is the satisfaction of preferences, or of fully informed preferences, or of fully informed preferences about one's own life. But none of those theories can be true if it is possible to prefer, with full information, to decrease one's own well-being. And because it is possible to have such a preference, those theories cannot be true.
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  • A defence of the desire theory of well-being.Atus Mariqueo-Russell - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Southampton
    Desire theories of well-being claim that how well someone’s life goes for them is entirely determined by the fulfilment and frustration of their desires. This thesis considers the viability of theories of this sort. It examines a series of objections that threaten to undermine these views. These objections claim that desire theories of well-being are incorrect because they have implausible implications. I consider four main objections over the course of this thesis. The first claims that these theories are incorrect because (...)
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  • Painful Art and the Limits of Well-Being.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Suffering Art Gladly: The Paradox of Negative Emotions in Art. Palgrave/ Macmillan.
    In this chapter I explore what painful art can tell us about the nature and importance of human welfare. My goal is not so much to defend a new solution to the paradox of tragedy, as it is to explore the implications of the kinds of solutions that I find attractive. Both nonhedonic compensatory theories and constitutive theories explain why people seek out painful art, but they have troublesome implications. On some narrow theories of well-being, they imply that painful art (...)
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  • Pleasurably Regarding the Pain of Fictional Others.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Is it ever bad to take pleasure in the suffering of fictional characters? I think so. I attempt to show when and why. I begin with two powerful objections to my view: (1) engaging with fiction is akin to morally unproblematic autonomous fantasy, and (2) since no one is harmed, it is morally unproblematic. I reply to the objections and defend a Moorean view on the issue: It is intrinsically bad to enjoy evil, actual (past, present, or future) and merely (...)
     
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  • A Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Theories of well-being tell us what makes a life good for the one who lives it. But there is more to what makes a life worth living than just well-being. We care about the worth of our lives, and we are right to do so. I defend an objective list theory of the worth of a life: The most worthwhile lives are those high in various objective goods. These principally include welfare and meaning. By distinguishing between worth and welfare, we (...)
     
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  • Atomism and Holism in the Philosophy of Well-being.Jason R. Raibley - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook to the Philosophy of Well-being. Routledge.
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  • An Opinionated Guide to “What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best”.Chris Heathwood - 2020 - In Andrea Sauchelli (ed.), Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons: An Introduction and Critical Inquiry. Routledge. pp. 94-113.
    Derek Parfit's monumental 1984 book Reasons and Persons contains a little appendix called "What Makes Someone's Life Go Best," a mini-essay on well-being that has taken on a life of its own apart from the body to which it is attached. This paper serves as a critical guide to that appendix. Topics include: the nature of pleasure and pain and its relation to theories of well-being; the unrestricted desire-fulfillment theory and the problem of remote desires; whether a person's actual preferences (...)
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  • Desire-Fulfillment Theory.Chris Heathwood - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 135-147.
    Explains the desire-fulfillment theory of well-being, its history, its development, its varieties, its advantages, and its challenges.
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  • The Disjunctive Hybrid Theory of Prudential Value: An Inclusive Approach to the Good Life.Joseph Van Weelden - 2018 - Dissertation, Mcgill University
    In this dissertation, I argue that all extant theories of prudential value are either a) enumeratively deficient, in that they are unable to accommodate everything that, intuitively, is a basic constituent of prudential value, b) explanatorily deficient, in that they are at least sometimes unable to offer a plausible story about what makes a given thing prudentially valuable, or c) both. In response to the unsatisfactory state of the literature, I present my own account, the Disjunctive Hybrid Theory or DHT. (...)
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