Welfare over Time and the Case for Holism

Philosophical Papers 41 (2):239 - 265 (2012)
Abstract Theories of personal well-being are typically developed so that they render verdicts on (a) how well-off a person is at a moment, (b) how well-off a person is over an interval of time, and (c) how good a whole life is for the person who lives it. Conative theories of welfare posit welfare-atoms that consist, e.g., in episodes of desire-satisfaction, aim-achievement, or values-realisation. Most extant conative theories are additive: they compute well-being over time?up to and including the value of a whole life?by adding up the values of these welfare atoms. Here, it is shown that such atomistic, additive conative theories do not always generate plausible verdicts on (b) and (c) above. They imply that lives featuring incoherent plans and rapidly changing projects go surprisingly well for those who lived them. Holistic theories of well-being are often thought to provide a solution to problems like these. However, one of the best-known versions of welfare holism within the conative family, Rawls? rational life-preferentism, is based on the problematic assumption that there is one ideal life plan for each person. This paper presents a new form of paradigm-resemblance based conative holism that does not make this assumption and that explains the limits of additivity
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Jason Raibley (2013). Health and Well-Being. Philosophical Studies 165 (2):469-489.
    Jason Raibley (2010). Well-Being and the Priority of Values. Social Theory and Practice 36 (4):593-620.
    Thomas Hurka (2006). A Kantian Theory of Welfare? [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 130 (3):603 - 617.
    Bradford Skow (2009). Preferentism and the Paradox of Desire. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2009.
    Chris Heathwood (2008). Fitting Attitudes and Welfare. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 3:47-73.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    17 ( #82,033 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,661 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.