The Hedonist's Dilemma

Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (2):173-196 (2011)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that hedonism about well-being faces a powerful dilemma. However, as I shall try to show here, this choice creates a dilemma for hedonism. On a subjective interpretation, hedonism is open to the familiar objection that pleasure is not the only thing desired or the only thing for which we possess a pro-attitude. On an objective interpretation, hedonism lacks an independent rationale. In this paper, I do not claim that hedonism fails once and for all. However, this dilemma illustrates a serious problem for hedonism, the solution to which is not immediately obvious, and which must be addressed if hedonism is to be considered a serious competitor for the true theory of well-being

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Dale Dorsey
University of Kansas

Citations of this work

Can desire-satisfaction alienate our good?Willem van der Deijl - 2023 - Journal of Value Inquiry 57 (4):687-700.
The Objectivity of Wellbeing.Matt Ferkany - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):472-492.
Making good choices: toward a theory of well-being in medicine.Alicia Hall - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (5):383-400.

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References found in this work

Dispositional Theories of Value.Michael Smith, David Lewis & Mark Johnston - 1989 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 63 (1):89-174.
Facts and Values.Peter Railton - 1986 - Philosophical Topics 14 (2):5-31.
Identity, ostension, and hypostasis.W. V. Quine - 1950 - Journal of Philosophy 47 (22):621-633.
Human Flourishing Versus Desire Satisfaction.Richard J. Arneson - 1999 - Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (1):113-142.
Hedonism reconsidered.Roger Crisp - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):619–645.

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