The Contribution of Security to Well-being


Do unknown and unrealized risks of harm diminish an individual’s well-being? The traditional answer is no: that the security of prudential goods benefits an individual only instrumentally or by virtue of their subjective sense of security. Recent work has argued, however, that the security of prudential goods non-instrumentally benefits an individual regardless of whether or not they enjoy subjective security. In this paper, I critically examine three claims about the way in which unknown and unrealized risks of harm might diminish individual well-being: it frustrates a desire to be secure, it frustrates the enjoyment of modally-robust goods, and it undermines the ability to make reasonable plans. Ultimately, I argue that all three of these hypotheses are mistaken, but that they deepen our understanding of the ways in which subjective security is an important constituent of individual well-being.

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Jonathan Herington
University of Rochester

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The Possibility of Practical Reason.David Velleman - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work

Freedom, Security, and the COVID-19 Pandemic.Josette Anna Maria Daemen - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-21.
‘But You Could Have Hurt Me!’: Risk and Harm.Joseph Bowen - 2022 - Law and Philosophy 41 (4):517-546.
On the Harm of Imposing Risk of Harm.Kritika Maheshwari - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (4):965-980.
De politieke filosofie van zekerheid.Josette Daemen - 2020 - Socialisme and Democratie 77 (2):65-71.

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