David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
One kind of philosophical question about welfare is about the nature of the concept itself. We seek elucidation of the concept, perhaps by relating it to the concept of goodness or the concept of rationality. We do not seek to determine which lives have the property of a high degree of welfare, or why; we seek only to clarify what it means to ascribe this property to a life. Call this sort of question formal. There are also substantive questions about welfare. These too are abstract questions, but they seek a description or explanation of some sort—a description of the features of lives which constitute a high degree of welfare, or an explanation of why lives with those features have that property. These questions are logically downstream of the formal question: they presuppose some understanding of the nature of the concept, and pursue matters of its extension. This paper focuses on substantive questions, but I had better provide some answer, even if stipulative, to the formal question. I shall understand a person’s welfare as consisting of those things that are final goods for her. This formula combines two ideas: the idea that some things are ‘final goods’, and the idea that some things are ‘good for’ someone. Something is a final good just in case it is good for its own sake.1 Not everything that is good is a final good; some things are good merely as means. I assume that we should count only final goods as constituents of a person’s welfare—so that, for example, wealth is not properly a constituent of welfare. Second, I shall take the orthodox view that welfare is what is ‘good for’ a person. This expresses an admittedly imprecise and elusive idea, to the effect that welfare is goodness relative to each subject.2 What’s good for me may not be good for you. Turn now to substantive questions. Roger Crisp has drawn a helpful distinction between two such questions about welfare. On one hand is the enumerative question. This asks for a list of the constituents of a life with a high degree of welfare (‘constituents of welfare’ hereafter, for short)..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Peter Vallentyne (1991). The Problem of Unauthorized Welfare. Noûs 25 (3):295-321.
Alex Voorhoeve (2005). Equal Opportunity, Equality, and Responsibility. Dissertation, University of London
David J. Mellor (2009). The Sciences of Animal Welfare. Wiley-Blackwell.
Norman P. Barry (1990). The Philosophy of the Welfare State. Critical Review 4 (4):545-568.
Lennart Nordenfelt (2011). Health and Welfare in Animals and Humans. Acta Biotheoretica 59 (2):139-152.
Katherine Eddy (2006). Welfare Rights and Conflicts of Rights. Res Publica 12 (4):337-356.
Chris Heathwood (2008). Fitting Attitudes and Welfare. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 3:47-73.
Thomas Hurka (2006). A Kantian Theory of Welfare? [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 130 (3):603 - 617.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads20 ( #70,423 of 1,010,217 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #28,090 of 1,010,217 )
How can I increase my downloads?