Desire satisfaction, death, and time

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):799-819 (2017)
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Abstract

Desire satisfaction theories of well-being and deprivationism about the badness of death face similar problems: desire satisfaction theories have trouble locating the time when the satisfaction of a future or past-directed desire benefits a person; deprivationism has trouble locating a time when death is bad for a person. I argue that desire satisfaction theorists and deprivation theorists can address their respective timing problems by accepting fusionism, the view that some events benefit or harm individuals only at fusions of moments in time. Fusionism improves on existing solutions to the timing problem for deprivationism because it locates death’s badness at the same time as both the victim of death and death itself, and it accounts for all of the ways that death is bad for a person. Fusionism improves on existing solutions to the problem of temporally locating the benefit of future and past-directed desires because it respects several attractive principles, including the view that the intrinsic value of a time for someone is determined solely by states of affairs that obtain at that time and the view that intrinsically beneficial events benefit a person when they occur.

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Duncan Purves
University of Florida

Citations of this work

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Are there dead persons?Patrick Stokes - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):755-775.
Value After Death.Christopher Frugé - 2022 - Ratio 35 (3):194-203.
Well‐being, part 2: Theories of well‐being.Eden Lin - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (2):e12813.
Climate Change and Optimum Population.Hilary Greaves - 2019 - The Monist 102 (1):42-65.

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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Weighing lives.John Broome - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Well-being and death.Ben Bradley - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
.Peter Railton - 1985 - Rowman & Littlefield.

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