An Opinionated Guide to “What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best”

In Andrea Sauchelli (ed.), Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons: An Introduction and Critical Inquiry. Routledge. pp. 94-113 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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 should determine their counterfactual well-being; summative vs. global desire-fulfillment theories; the single-life repugnant conclusion; and objective vs. subjective vs. hybrid theories of well-being. Opinions being defended include: that Parfit's solution to the problem of remote desires fails; that his view on actual preferences and counterfactual well-being is right; that his arguments for global over summative desire-fulfilment theories fail; and that the single-life repugnant conclusion should be accepted.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Subjectivity and Objectivity in Theories of Well-Being.Timothy Bruce Snow - 1992 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
The Missing-Desires Objection to Hybrid Theories of Well-Being.William Lauinger - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):270-295.
Well -being and actual desires.Mark E. Lukas - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
How Lives Measure Up.Molly Gardner & Justin Weinberg - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (1):31-48.
Desire-Satisfaction Theories of Welfare.Chris Heathwood - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure and Welfare.Chris Heathwood - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:79-106.
Groundhog Day and the Good Life.Diana Abad - 2012 - Film-Philosophy 16 (1):149-164.
Desire fulfillment and posthumous harm.Douglas W. Portmore - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):27 - 38.
Desire-Satisfaction Theories of Welfare.Chris Heathwood - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Desire Satisfactionism and the Problem of Irrelevant Desires.Mark Lukas - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 4 (2):1-25.
Desire satisfactionism and hedonism.Chris Heathwood - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (3):539-563.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-07-15

Downloads
264 (#73,851)

6 months
50 (#81,861)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Chris Heathwood
University of Colorado, Boulder

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Principia ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Thomas Baldwin.

View all 60 references / Add more references