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  1. Mortimer Jerome Adler (1991/2012). Desires, Right and Wrong: The Ethics of Enough. Axios Press.
    Prologue: retrospective and prospective -- The ethics of enough -- Real and apparent goods -- Wrong desires: pleasure, money, fame, and power -- Right desires: the totum bonum and its constituents -- Fundamental errors in moral philosophy -- Necessary but not sufficient -- Epilogue: transcultural ethics.
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  2. Elizabeth Anderson (2001). Symposium on Amartya Sen's Philosophy: 2 Unstrapping the Straitjacket of ‘Preference’: A Comment on Amartya Sen's Contributions to Philosophy and Economics. Economics and Philosophy 17 (1):21-38.
    The concept of preference dominates economic theory today. It performs a triple duty for economists, grounding their theories of individual behavior, welfare, and rationality. Microeconomic theory assumes that individuals act so as to maximize their utility – that is, to maximize the degree to which their preferences are satisfied. Welfare economics defines individual welfare in terms of preference satisfaction or utility, and social welfare as a function of individual preferences. Finally, economists assume that the rational act is the act that (...)
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  3. Steven Arkonovich (2012). Conflicts of Desire. Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (1):51-63.
    This paper is an attempt to come to a better understanding of desire through an examination of certain kinds of conflict of desire. Standard accounts of conflict of desire involve a two-part analysis. First, desires are held to conflict just in case the satisfaction of one precludes the satisfaction of the other; second, a desire is said to be satisfied just in case the propositional content of the desire is true. I argue that this account of conflict rests in an (...)
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  4. Richard Arneson (2006). Desire Formation and Human Good. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 81 (59):9-.
    In Wuthering Heights a man and a woman fall in love and their passion for each other wreaks havoc on several lives, theirs included.1 Long after his beloved is dead, Heathcliff’s life revolves entirely around his love for her. Frustrated by events, his grand romantic passion expresses itself in destructive spasms of antisocial behavior. Catherine, the object of this passion, marries another man on a whim, but describes her feelings for him as like superficial foliage, whereas “her love for Heathcliff (...)
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  5. Richard Arneson (1999). Human Flourishing Versus Desire Satisfaction. Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (1):113-142.
    What is the good for human persons? If I am trying to lead the best possible life I could lead, not the morally best life, but the life that is best for me, what exactly am I seeking? This phrasing of the question I will be pursuing may sound tendentious, so some explaining is needed. What is good for one person, we ordinarily suppose, can conflict with what is good for other persons and with what is required by morality. A (...)
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  6. H. E. Baber, Meet the Meat: So, Where's the Beef?
    Preferentism is the doctrine that "in deciding what is good and what is bad for a given individual, the ultimate criterion can only be his own wants and his own preferences." If preferentism is true then it would seem to follow that modifying a person's preferences so that they are satisfied by what is on offer should be as good as improving the circumstances of her life to satisfy her preferences. Our intuitive response to stories of life-adjustment through brainwashing, psychosurgery (...)
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  7. H. E. Baber (2010). Worlds, Capabilities and Well-Being. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (4):377 - 392.
    Critics suggest that without some "objective" account of well-being we cannot explain why satisfying some preferences is, as we believe, better than satisfying others, why satisfying some preferences may leave us on net worse off or why, in a range of cases, we should reject life-adjustment in favor of life-improvement. I defend a subjective welfarist understanding of well-being against such objections by reconstructing the Amartya Sen's capability approach as a preferentist account of well-being. According to the proposed account preference satisfaction (...)
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  8. H. E. Baber (2008). The Experience Machine Deconstructed. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (1):133-138.
    Nozick’s Experience Machine thought experiment is generally taken to make a compelling, if not conclusive, case against philosophical hedonism. I argue that it does not and, indeed, that regardless of the results, it cannot provide any reason to accept or reject either hedonism or any other philosophical account of wellbeing since it presupposes preferentism, the desire-satisfaction account ofwellbeing. Preferentists cannot take any comfort from the results of such thought experiments because they assume preferentism and therefore cannot establish it. Neither can (...)
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  9. H. E. Baber (2007). Adaptive Preference. Social Theory and Practice 33 (1):105-126.
    I argue, first, that the deprived individuals whose predicaments Nussbaum cites as examples of "adaptive preference" do not in fact prefer the conditions of their lives to what we should regard as more desirable alternatives, indeed that we believe they are badly off precisely because they are not living the lives they would prefer to live if they had other options and were aware of them. Secondly, I argue that even where individuals in deprived circumstances acquire tastes for conditions that (...)
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  10. Michael Bishop (2015). The Good Life: Unifying the Philosophy and Psychology of Well-Being. OUP Usa.
    Science and philosophy study well-being with different but complementary methods. Marry these methods and a new picture emerges: To have well-being is to be "stuck" in a positive cycle of emotions, attitudes, traits and success. This book unites the scientific and philosophical worldviews into a powerful new theory of well-being.
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  11. Michael Bishop (2012). The Network Theory of Well-Being: An Introduction. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7 (1).
    In this paper, I propose a novel approach to investigating the nature of well-being and a new theory about wellbeing. The approach is integrative and naturalistic. It holds that a theory of well-being should account for two different classes of evidence—our commonsense judgments about well-being and the science of well-being (i.e., positive psychology). The network theory holds that a person is in the state of well-being if she instantiates a homeostatically clustered network of feelings, emotions, attitudes, behaviors, traits, and interactions (...)
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  12. Ben Bradley (2009). Well-Being and Death. Oxford University Press.
  13. Ben Bradley (2007). A Paradox for Some Theories of Welfare. Philosophical Studies 133 (1):45 - 53.
    Sometimes people desire that their lives go badly, take pleasure in their lives going badly, or believe that their lives are going badly. As a result, some popular theories of welfare are paradoxical. I show that no attempt to defend those theories from the paradox fully succeeds.
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  14. Ben Bramble (forthcoming). The Experience Machine. Philosophy Compass.
  15. Phillip Bricker (1980). Prudence. Journal of Philosophy 77 (7):381-401.
    The article explicates a notion of prudence according to which an agent acts prudently if he acts so as to satisfy not only his present preferences, but his past and future preferences as well. A simplified decision-theoretic framework is developed within which three analyses of prudence are presented and compared. That analysis is defended which can best handle cases in which an agent's present act will affect his future preferences.
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  16. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo (eds.) (2003). The Psychology of Economic Decisions: Volume One: Rationality and Well-Being. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Psychologists and economists often ask similar questions about human behaviour. This volume brings together contributions from leaders in both disciplines.The editorial introduction discusses methodological differences between the two which have until now limited the development of mutually beneficial lines of research. Psychologists have objected to what they see as an excessive formalism in economic modelling and an unrealistic degree of sophistication in the behaviour of individuals, while economists criticize the absence of a general psychological framework into which most results can (...)
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  17. Donald W. Bruckner (2013). Present Desire Satisfaction and Past Well-Being. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):15 - 29.
    One version of the desire satisfaction theory of well-being (i.e., welfare, or what is good for one) holds that only the satisfaction of one's present desires for present states of affairs can affect one's well-being. So if I desire fame today and become famous tomorrow, my well-being is positively affected onlyif tomorrow, when I am famous, I still desire to be famous. Call this the present desire satisfaction theory of well-being. I argue, contrary to this theory, that the satisfaction (...)
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  18. Donald W. Bruckner (2011). Subjective Well-Being and Desire Satisfaction. Philosophical Papers 39 (1):1-28.
    There is a large literature in empirical psychology studying what psychologists call 'subjective well-being'. Only limited attention has been given to these results by philosophers who study what we call 'well-being'. In this paper, I assess the relevance of the empirical results to one philosophical theory of well-being, the desire satisfaction theory. According to the desire satisfaction theory, an individual's well-being is enhanced when her desires are satisfied. The empirical results, however, show that many of our desires are disappointed in (...)
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  19. Judith Butler (1987). Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France. Columbia University Press.
  20. Krister Bykvist (2007). Comments on Dennis McKerlie's 'Rational Choice, Changes in Values Over Time, and Well-Being'. Utilitas 19 (1):73-77.
    I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to comment on McKerlie's interesting article, especially since it concerns one of my pet topics and provides many helpful comments on one of my own articles on this topic. My comments will be brief because I agree with most of his points, in particular, his criticisms of the prudential view and the present-aim theory. What I want to do here is just to clarify a couple of things concerning my own theory, (...)
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  21. Krister Bykvist (2006). Prudence for Changing Selves. Utilitas 18 (3):264-283.
    What is the prudentially right thing to do in situations in which our actions will shape our preferences? Suppose, for instance, that you are considering getting married, and that you know that if you get married, you will prefer being unmarried, and that if you stay unmarried, you will prefer being married. This is the problem I will deal with in this article. I will begin by explaining why preferences matter to prudence. I will then go on to discuss a (...)
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  22. Krister Bykvist (2002). Sumner on Desires and Well-Being. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (4):475 - 490.
  23. Jules L. Coleman (2003). The Grounds of Welfare. Yale Law Journal 112:1511.
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  24. Dale Dorsey (2013). Desire-Satisfaction and Welfare as Temporal. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):151-171.
    Welfare is at least occasionally a temporal phenomenon: welfare benefits befall me at certain times. But this fact seems to present a problem for a desire-satisfaction view. Assume that I desire, at 10am, January 12th, 2010, to climb Mount Everest sometime during 2012. Also assume, however, that during 2011, my desires undergo a shift: I no longer desire to climb Mount Everest during 2012. In fact, I develop an aversion to so doing. Imagine, however, that despite my aversion, I am (...)
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  25. Dale Dorsey (2010). Preferences, Welfare, and the Status-Quo Bias. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):535-554.
    Preferences play a role in well-being that is difficult to escape, but whatever authority one grants to preferences, their malleability seems to cause problems for any theory of well-being that employs them. Most importantly, preferences appear to display a status-quo bias: people come to prefer what they are likely rather than unlikely to get. I try to do two things here. The first is to provide a more precise characterization of the status-quo bias, how it functions, and how it infects (...)
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  26. J. A. Doull (1966). "G. L. Concordia", Value and Desire. [REVIEW] Dialogue 5 (1):96.
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  27. Fred Feldman, Happiness and Subjective Desire Satisfaction: Wayne Davis's Theory of Happiness.
    There is a lively debate about the descriptive concept of happiness. What do we mean when we say (using the word to express this descriptive concept) that a person is “happy”? One prominent answer is subjective local desire satisfactionism. On this view, to be happy at a time is to believe, with respect to the things that you want to be true at that time, that they are true. Wayne Davis developed and defended an interesting and sophisticated version of this (...)
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  28. Stephen F. Finlay (2001). What Does Value Matter? The Interest-Relational Theory of the Semantics and Metaphysics of Value. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Value and reasons for action are often cited by rationalists and moral realists as providing a desire-independent foundation for normativity. Those maintaining instead that normativity is dependent upon motivation often deny that anything called "value" or "reasons" exists. According to the interest-relational theory, something has value relative to some perspective of desire just in case it satisfies those desires, and a consideration is a reason for some action just in case it indicates that something of value will be accomplished by (...)
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  29. Guy Fletcher (2016). The Philosophy of Well-Being: An Introduction. Routledge.
    Well-being occupies a central role in ethics and political philosophy, including in major theories such as utilitarianism. It also extends far beyond philosophy: recent studies into the science and psychology of well-being have propelled the topic to centre stage, and governments spend millions on promoting it. We are encouraged to adopt modes of thinking and behaviour that support individual well-being or 'wellness'. What is well-being? Which theories of well-being are most plausible? In this rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the topic, (...)
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  30. Guy Fletcher (ed.) (2016). The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    The concept of well-being is one of the oldest and most important topics in philosophy and ethics, going back to ancient Greek philosophy and Aristotle. Following the boom in happiness studies in the last few years it has moved to centre stage, grabbing media headlines and the attention of scientists, psychologists and economists. Yet little is actually known about well-being and it is an idea often poorly articulated. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being provides a comprehensive, outstanding guide and (...)
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  31. Guy Fletcher (2009). Rejecting Well-Being Invariabilism. Philosophical Papers 38 (1):21-34.
    This paper is an attempt to undermine a basic assumption of theories of well-being, one that I call well-being invariabilism. I argue that much of what makes existing theories of well-being inadequate stems from the invariabilist assumption. After distinguishing and explaining well-being invariabilism and well-being variabilism, I show that the most widely-held theories of well-being—hedonism, desire-satisfaction, and pluralist objective-list theories—presuppose invariabilism and that a large class of the objections to them arise because of it. My aim is to show that (...)
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  32. Alan E. Fuchs (1990). 91.'Posthumous Satisfactions and the Concept of Individual Welfare'. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:345-51.
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  33. David Gordon (1988). Projectivist Utilitarianism and the Satisfaction of Desire. Erkenntnis 29 (3):437 - 443.
    N. M. L. Nathan's argument that IDP utilitarianism, if universally adopted, is inconsistent, does not succeed. The argument requires that if an IDP utilitarian has only self-regarding desires, then none of these desires can be informed. This rests on a partial misuse of the expression satisfaction of desire. For an individual attempting to realize his self-regarding desires, the satisfaction of the satisfaction of a desire is unmeaning. The naming of an object of the desire is an intrinsic part of the (...)
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  34. James Griffin (1986). Well-Being: Its Meaning, Measurement, and Moral Importance. Clarendon Press.
    "Well-being," "welfare," "utility," and "quality of life," all closely related concepts, are at the center of morality, politics, law, and economics. Griffin's book, while primarily a volume of moral philosophy, is relevant to all of these subjects. Griffin offers answers to three central questions about well-being: what is the best way to understand it, can it be measured, and where should it fit in moral and political thought. With its breadth of investigation and depth of insight, this work holds significance (...)
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  35. Toby Handfield (2011). Absent Desires. Utilitas 23 (04):402-427.
    What difference does it make to matters of value, for a desire satisfactionist, if a given desire is *absent*, rather than *present*? I argue that it is most plausible to hold that the state in which a given desire is satisfied is, other things being equal, incommensurate with the state in which that desire does not exist at all. In addition to illustrating the internal attractions of the view, I demonstrate that this idea has attractive implications for population ethics. Finally, (...)
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  36. Daniel M. Haybron (2008). The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being. OUP Oxford.
    Dan Haybron presents an illuminating examination of well-being, drawing on important recent work in the science of happiness. He shows that we are remarkably prone to error in judgements of our own personal welfare, and suggests that we should rethink traditional assumptions about the good life and the good society.
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  37. Chris Heathwood (2016). Desire-Fulfillment Theory. In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge 135-147.
    Explains the desire-fulfillment theory of well-being, its history, its development, its varieties, its advantages, and its challenges.
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  38. Chris Heathwood (2014). Faring Well and Getting What You Want. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), The Ethical Life: Fundamental Readings in Ethics and Moral Problems. Oxford University Press 31-42.
    An introductory-level article defending a desire-satisfaction theory of welfare. About 5,000 words; no footnotes, citations, credits, etc.
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  39. Chris Heathwood (2014). Subjective Theories of Well-Being. In Ben Eggleston & Dale Miller (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press 199-219.
    Subjective theories of well-being claim that how well our lives go for us is a matter of our attitudes towards what we get in life rather than the nature of the things themselves. This article explains in more detail the distinction between subjective and objective theories of well-being; describes, for each approach, some reasons for thinking it is true; outlines the main kinds of subjective theory; and explains their advantages and disadvantages.
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  40. Chris Heathwood (2011). Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure, and Welfare. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:79-106.
    One of the most important disputes in the foundations of ethics concerns the source of practical reasons. On the desire-based view, only one’s desires provide one with reasons to act. On the value-based view, reasons are instead provided by the objective evaluative facts, and never by our desires. Similarly, there are desire-based and non-desired-based theories about two other phenomena: pleasure and welfare. It has been argued, and is natural to think, that holding a desire-based theory about either pleasure or welfare (...)
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  41. Chris Heathwood (2011). Preferentism and Self‐Sacrifice. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):18-38.
    According to the argument from self-sacrifice, standard, unrestricted desire-based theories of welfare fail because they have the absurd implication that self-sacrifice is conceptually impossible. I attempt to show that, in fact, the simplest imaginable, completely unrestricted desire-based theory of well-being is perfectly compatible with the phenomenon of self-sacrifice – so long as the theory takes the right form. I go on to consider a new argument from self-sacrifice against this simple theory, which, I argue, also fails. I conclude that, contrary (...)
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  42. Chris Heathwood (2010). Welfare. In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. Routledge 645-655.
    An introduction to the philosophical debate over what makes a person's life go well. It attempts to clarify the question of welfare and to explore several of the most important answers, while displaying the main contours of the dialectic.
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  43. Chris Heathwood (2006). Desire Satisfactionism and Hedonism. Philosophical Studies 128 (3):539-563.
    Hedonism and the desire-satisfaction theory of welfare are typically seen as archrivals in the contest over identifying what makes one's life go best. It is surprising, then, that the most plausible form of hedonism just is the most plausible form of desire satisfactionism. How can a single theory of welfare be a version of both hedonism and desire satisfactionism? The answer lies in what pleasure is: pleasure is, in my view, the subjective satisfaction of desire. This thesis about pleasure is (...)
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  44. Chris Heathwood (2005). The Problem of Defective Desires. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):487 – 504.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of welfare says, roughly, that one's life goes well to the extent that one's desires are satisfied. On standard 'actualist' versions of the theory, it doesn't matter what you desire. So long as you are getting what you actually want – whatever it is – things are going well for you. There is widespread agreement that these standard versions are incorrect, because we can desire things that are bad for us -– in other words, because there are (...)
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  45. Chris Heathwood (2003). Review of Stephen Darwall, Welfare and Rational Care. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):615-617.
  46. Brad Hooker (1992). Parfit's Arguments for the Present-Aim Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (1):61 – 75.
    This paper has been about the question of what there is most reason to doin situations in which either there are no moral considerations to be takeninto account or the moral considerations to be taken into account are equally balanced. I have assessed all Parfit's arguments for concluding that the Present-aim Theory is right and the Self-interest Theory wrong aboutthis question. In § III, I showed how Parfit's argument from personal identity leads not to the abandonment of the Self-interest Theory, (...)
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  47. Jens Johansson & Karl Ekendahl (2013). Dead and Gone? Reply to Jenkins. Utilitas 26 (2):1-3.
    In a recent article, Joyce L. Jenkins challenges the common belief that desire satisfactionists are committed to the view that a person's welfare can be affected by posthumous events. Jenkins argues that desire satisfactionists can and should say that posthumous events only play an epistemic role: though such events cannot harm me, they can reveal that I have already been harmed by something else. In this response, however, we show that Jenkins's approach collapses into the view she aims to avoid.
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  48. Shelly Kagan (2015). An Introduction to Ill-Being. Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 4:261-88.
    Typically, discussions of well-being focus almost exclusively on the positive aspects of well-being, those elements which directly contribute to a life going well, or better. It is generally assumed, without comment, that there is no need to explicitly discuss ill-being as well—that is, the part of the theory of well-being that specifies the elements which directly contribute to a life going badly, or less well—since (or so it is thought) this raises no special difficulties or problems. But this common assumption (...)
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  49. Simon Keller (2004). Welfare and the Achievement of Goals. Philosophical Studies 121 (1):27-41.
    I defend the view that an individual''s welfareis in one respect enhanced by the achievementof her goals, even when her goals are crazy,self-destructive, irrational or immoral. This``Unrestricted View'''' departs from familiartheories which take welfare to involve only theachievement of rational aims, or of goals whoseobjects are genuinely valuable, or of goalsthat are not grounded in bad reasons. I beginwith a series of examples, intended to showthat some of our intuitive judgments aboutwelfare incorporate distinctions that only theUnrestricted View can support. Then, (...)
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  50. Matthew J. Kisner (2010). Perfection and Desire: Spinoza on the Good. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):97-117.
    While Spinoza claims that our good is both what increases our essential power and what helps us to satisfy our desires, he admits that people desire things that do not increase their power. This paper addresses this problem by arguing that Spinoza conceives of desires as expressions of our conatus , so that satisfying our desires necessarily increases our power and vice versa. This reading holds, in opposition to recent work, that Spinoza upholds a desire-satisfaction theory of the good, though (...)
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