David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Papers 38 (1):21-34 (2009)
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 abandoning invariabilism and adopting variabilism is a sensible first step for those aiming to formulate more plausible theories of well-being. After considering objections to my argument, I explain what a variabilist theory of well-being would be like and show that well-being variabilism need not be any threat to the project of formulating theories of well-being that deliver general principles concerning well-being enhancement.
|Keywords||Well-Being Meta-ethics Value theory|
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References found in this work BETA
Derek Parfit (1984). Reasons and Persons. Oxford University Press.
W. D. Ross (2002). The Right and the Good. Clarendon Press.
Fred Feldman (2004). Pleasure and the Good Life: Concerning the Nature, Varieties and Plausibility of Hedonism. Clarendon Press.
John Finnis (1980/1979). Natural Law and Natural Rights. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Guy Fletcher (2013). A Fresh Start for the Objective-List Theory of Well-Being. Utilitas 25 (2):206-220.
Christopher Woodard (2013). Classifying Theories of Welfare. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):787-803.
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