David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):373 – 391 (2007)
In this paper I argue that the debate between subjective and objective theories of prudential value obscures the way in which elements of both are needed for a comprehensive theory of prudential value. I suggest that we characterize these two types of theory in terms of their different aims: procedural (or subjective) theories give an account of the necessary conditions for something to count as good for a person, while substantive (or objective) theories give an account of what is good for a person, given some set of necessary conditions. Characterizing the theories in this way allows us to see their mutual compatibility. To make this case, I assume that a theory of prudential value ought to be descriptively and normatively adequate. The criterion of descriptive adequacy requires that our theory explain the subject relativity of prudential value. I characterize subject relativity in terms of justifiability to subjects and I argue that certain procedural theories are well suited to meet this criterion. The criterion of normative adequacy requires that our theory be capable of guiding action and I argue that a certain kind of substantive theory is needed to meet this requirement.
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References found in this work BETA
Martha Nussbaum (2001). Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Cambridge University Press.
Rosalind Hursthouse (1999). On Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Derek Parfit (1984). Reasons and Persons. Oxford University Press.
Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (1981). Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers, 1973-1980. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Eden Lin (2014). Pluralism About Well‐Being. Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):127-154.
Jukka Varelius (2014). Is the Expiration of Intellectual Property Rights a Problem for Non-Consequentialist Theories of Intellectual Property? Res Publica 20 (4):345-357.
Sam Wren-Lewis (2014). How Successfully Can We Measure Well-Being Through Measuring Happiness? South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (4):417-432.
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