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
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.
Guy Fletcher (2008). The Consistency of Qualitative Hedonism and the Value of (at Least Some) Malicious Pleasures. Utilitas 20 (4):462-471.
Brad Hooker (2000). Ideal Code, Real World: A Rule-Consequentialist Theory of Morality. 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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