18 found
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  1. Achievement.Gwen Bradford - 2015 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Gwen Bradford presents the first systematic account of what achievements are, and why they are worth the effort. She argues that more things count as achievements than we might have thought, and offers a new perfectionist theory of value in which difficulty, perhaps surprisingly, plays a central part in characterizing achievements.
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  2. Consciousness and welfare subjectivity.Gwen Bradford - 2022 - Noûs 57 (4):905-921.
    Many philosophers tacitly accept the View: consciousness is necessary for being a welfare subject. That is, in order to be an eligible bearer of welfare goods and bads, an entity must be capable of phenomenal consciousness. However, this paper argues that, in the absence of a compelling rationale, we are not licensed to accept the View, because doing so amounts to fallacious reasoning in theorizing about welfare: insisting on the View when consciousness is not in fact important for welfare value (...)
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  3. Perfectionist Bads.Gwen Bradford - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (3):586-604.
    Pain, failure and false beliefs all make a life worse, or so it is plausible to think. These things and possibly others seem to be intrinsically bad—no matter what further good comes of them they make a life worse pro tanto. In spite of the obvious badness, this is difficult to explain. While there are many accounts of well-being, few are up to the challenge of a univocal explanation of ill-being. Perfectionism has particular difficulty. Otherwise, it is a theory that (...)
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  4. The Value of Achievements.Gwen Bradford - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (2):204-224.
    This article gives an account of what makes achievements valuable. Although the natural thought is that achievements are valuable because of the product, such as a cure for cancer or a work of art, I argue that the value of the product of an achievement is not sufficient to account for its overall value. Rather, I argue that achievements are valuable in virtue of their difficulty. I propose a new perfectionist theory of value that acknowledges the will as a characteristic (...)
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  5. Uniqueness, Intrinsic Value, and Reasons.Gwen Bradford - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (8):421-440.
    Uniqueness appears to enhance intrinsic value. A unique stamp sells for millions of dollars; Stradivarius violins are all the more precious because they are unlike any others. This observation has not gone overlooked in the value theory literature: uniqueness plays a starring role recalibrating the dominant Moorean understanding of the nature of intrinsic value. But the thesis that uniqueness enhances intrinsic value is in tension with another deeply plausible and widely held thesis, namely the thesis that there is a pro (...)
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  6. The badness of pain.Gwen Bradford - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (2):236-252.
    Why is pain bad? The most straightforward theory of pain's badness,dolorism, appeals to the phenomenal quality of displeasure. In spite of its explanatory appeal, the view is too straightforward to capture two central puzzles, namely pain that is enjoyed and pain that is not painful. These cases can be captured byconditionalism, which makes the badness of displeasure conditional on an agent's attitude. But conditionalism fails where dolorism succeeds with explanatory appeal. A new approach is proposed,reverse conditionalism, which maintains the explanatory (...)
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  7. Problems for Perfectionism.Gwen Bradford - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (3):344-364.
    Perfectionism, the view that well-being is a matter of developing characteristically human capacities, has relatively few defenders in the literature, but plenty of critics. This paper defends perfectionism against some recent formulations of classic objections, namely, the objection that perfectionism ignores the relevance of pleasure or preference for well-being, and a sophisticated version of the ‘wrong properties’ objection, according to which the intuitive plausibility of the perfectionist ideal is threatened by an absence of theoretical pressure to accept putative wrong properties (...)
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  8. Perfectionism.Gwen Bradford - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    Perfectionism, broadly speaking, is the view that the development of certain characteristically human capacities is good. The view gains motivation in part from the intuitive pull of an objective approach to wellbeing, but dissatisfaction with objective list theory. According to objective list theory, goods such as knowledge, achievement, and friendship constitute good in a life. The objective list has terrific intuitive appeal – after all, it’s a list generated by reflecting on the good life. But as a theory, some find (...)
     
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  9. Achievement, wellbeing, and value.Gwen Bradford - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):795-803.
    Achievement is among the central goods in life, but just what is achievement, and how is it valuable? There is reason to think that it is a constitutive part of wellbeing; yet, it is possible to sacrifice wellbeing for the sake of achievement. How might it have been worthwhile, if not in terms of wellbeing? Perhaps, achievement is an intrinsic good, or perhaps it is valuable in terms of meaning in life. This article considers various ways in which we can (...)
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  10. Knowledge, Achievement, and Manifestation.Gwen Bradford - 2014 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):97-116.
    Virtue Epistemology appealingly characterizes knowledge as a kind of achievement, attributable to the exercise of cognitive virtues. But a more thorough understanding of the nature and value of achievements more broadly casts doubt on the view. In particular, it is argued that virtue epistemology’s answer to the Meno question is not as impressive as it purports to be, and that the favored analysis of ability is both problematic and irrelevant. However, considerations about achievements illuminate the best direction for the development (...)
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  11. Failure.Gwen Bradford - forthcoming - In Mauro Rossi & Christine Tappolet (eds.), Perspectives on Ill-Being. Oxford University Press.
    In Achievement, I suggest that failures can be just as good as achievements. Achievements are valuable because of their effort and competence, and some failures have these features too, and are therefore valuable for the same reasons. While that may be true, surely it’s also true that failures are, or can be, genuinely bad – not merely a privation of the good of achievement, but themselves intrinsically bad. As is the case for many bads, it is surprisingly difficult to give (...)
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  12. Evil achievements.Gwen Bradford - 2012 - The Philosophers' Magazine 59 (59):51-56.
    Is there value in pulling off a great art heist with style and panache? This article written for a general audience explores the value of evil achievements.
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  13.  51
    Introduction: A Very Brief History of Ill-Being.Gwen Bradford - 2022 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 46:5-9.
  14. Games: Agency as Art, by C. Thi Nguyen.Gwen Bradford - 2022 - Mind 131 (523):1037-1044.
    This book is a total joy to read. Thi Nguyen’s energy radiates from every page – the prose is truly delightful, with all sorts of poetic turns of phrase enliven.
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  15. Evil Achievements and the Principle of Recursion.Gwen Bradford - 2013 - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, vol. 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 79-97.
    This chapter investigates the value of achievements by examining the implications of a highly plausible axiological principle, the principle of Recursion, as developed by Thomas Hurka. According to Recursion, the pursuit of an intrinsic good is itself good, and the pursuit of a bad is bad. Evil achievements present a puzzle for Recursion. The value of achievements is at least in part grounded by the positive intrinsic value of the pursuit. This is true even of achievements with evil goals. Yet (...)
     
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  16. Irreplaceable Value.Gwen Bradford - 2024 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies of Metaethics 19. Oxford University Press USA.
    If the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel, the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun, or the Sword of Goujian were destroyed, nothing could replace them. New works of art that are even more impressive may be created, which may replenish the value in the world in quantity, but they would not fully replace the loss. Works of art and historical artifacts have irreplaceable value. But just what is irreplaceable value? This paper presents perhaps the first analysis. Irreplaceable value is a matter of intrinsic (...)
     
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  17. Fred Feldman, What is this thing called happiness?: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. 286 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-957117-8, $45.00, Hbk. ISBN 978-0199645930, $24.95, Pbk. [REVIEW]Gwen Bradford - 2012 - Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (2):269-273.
  18. Thomas Hurka, The Best Things in Life: A Guide to What Really Matters: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-19-533142-4, $18.95, Hbk. [REVIEW]Gwen Bradford - 2011 - Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (4):487-490.