David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):27 - 38 (2007)
This paper argues that the standard account of posthumous harm is untenable. The standard account presupposes the desire-fulfillment theory of welfare, but I argue that no plausible version of this theory can allow for the possibility of posthumous harm. I argue that there are, at least, two problems with the standard account from the perspective of a desire-fulfillment theorist. First, as most desire-fulfillment theorists acknowledge, the theory must be restricted in such a way that only those desires that pertain to one’s own life count in determining one’s welfare. The problem is that no one has yet provided a plausible account of which desires these are such that desires for posthumous prestige and the like are included. Second and more importantly, if the desire-fulfillment theory is going to be at all plausible, it must, I argue, restrict itself not only to those desires that pertain to one’s own life but also to those desires that are future independent, and this would rule out the possibility of posthumous harm. If I’m right, then even the desire-fulfillment theorist should reject the standard account of posthumous harm. We cannot plausibly account for posthumous harm in terms of desire fulfillment (or the lack thereof).
|Keywords||posthumous harm desire theory welfare|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Guy Fletcher (2013). A Fresh Start for the Objective-List Theory of Well-Being. Utilitas 25 (2):206-220.
Dale Dorsey (2013). Desire-Satisfaction and Welfare as Temporal. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):151-171.
Similar books and articles
Douglas W. Portmore (2007). Welfare and Posthumous Harm. American Philosophical Quarterly 44:27 - 38.
Steven Arkonovich (2012). Conflicts of Desire. Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (1):51-63.
James Stacey Taylor (2008). Harming the Dead. Journal of Philosophical Research 33:185-202.
Steven Luper (2007). Mortal Harm. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):239–251.
Alan E. Fuchs (1991). Posthumous Satisfactions and the Individual Welfare. Journal of Philosophical Research 16:345-351.
Chris Heathwood (2005). The Problem of Defective Desires. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):487 – 504.
Chris Heathwood (2011). Desire-Based Theories of Reasons, Pleasure, and Welfare. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:79-106.
Steven Luper (2004). Posthumous Harm. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1):63 - 72.
Nils Holtug (2002). The Harm Principle. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (4):357-389.
Chris Heathwood (2006). Desire Satisfactionism and Hedonism. Philosophical Studies 128 (3):539-563.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads105 ( #10,503 of 1,102,785 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #18,308 of 1,102,785 )
How can I increase my downloads?