The experience requirement on well-being

Philosophical Studies 178 (3):867-886 (2021)


According to the experience requirement on well-being, differences in subjects’ levels of welfare or well-being require differences in the phenomenology of their experiences. I explain why the two existing arguments for this requirement are not successful. Then, I introduce a more promising argument for it: that unless we accept the requirement, we cannot plausibly explain why only sentient beings are welfare subjects. I argue, however, that because the right kind of theory of well-being can plausibly account for that apparent fact about welfare subjects even if the requirement is false, this argument does not succeed. I tentatively conclude that no compelling case can be made for the requirement.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness.Declan Smithies (ed.) - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics.L. W. Sumner - 1996 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work

A New Well‐Being Atomism.Gil Hersch & Daniel Weltman - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
The Value of Consciousness to the One Who Has It.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In Geoffrey Lee & Adam Pautz (eds.), The Importance of Being Conscious. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Speciesism and Sentientism.Andrew Y. Lee - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (3-4):205-228.

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