Eliminating ‘ life worth living’

Philosophical Studies 175 (3):769-792 (2018)
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This article argues for the elimination of the concept of life worth living from philosophical vocabulary on three complementary grounds. First, the basic components of this concept suffer from multiple ambiguities, which hamper attempts to ground informative evaluative and classificatory judgments about the worth of life. Second, the criteria proposed to track the extension of the concept of life worth living rest on unsupported axiological assumptions and fail to identify precise and plausible referents for this concept. And third, the concept of life worth living is not shown to serve any major evaluative or classificatory purpose besides those served by already available axiological concepts. By eliminating the concept of life worth living, philosophers will free themselves of the task of addressing ill-posed axiological questions and ground reflection about the worth of life on more rigorous conceptual foundations.



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Roberto Fumagalli
King's College London

References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

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