Hedonist Accounts of Well-Being

Edited by Ben Bramble (Australian National University, Princeton University)
About this topic
Summary

Hedonism about well-being, roughly put, says that how good or bad our lives are for us is just a matter of our pleasures and pains. 

Whether hedonism counts as a subjective or objective theory of well-being depends on whether it is paired with an attitude-based or felt-quality theory of pleasure.

The most influential contemporary challenge to hedonism is Robert Nozick's "experience machine" thought experiment, according to which hedonism entails that it would be best for one to plug into a machine that would give one any future course of experiences one wanted, when this plainly would not be best for one.

Key works

Important historical discussions of hedonism are found in Plato's Philebus, Epicurus' Letter to Menoeceus, Bentham's Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, and Mill's Utilitarianism. The most comprehensive contemporary defenses of hedonism are Feldman 2004, Crisp 2006 (Ch. 4), and Bramble 2016. Other defenses include Bradley 2009 (Ch. 1), Heathwood 2006, and Lazari-Radek & Singer 2014 (Ch. 9). Nozick's experience machine thought experiment appears in Nozick 1989.

Introductions Feldman 2004 provides the most thorough introduction to hedonism about well-being. See also Crisp 2013 (Sec. 4.1) and Heathwood 2014 (Sec. 3.1). 
Related categories

361 found
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1 — 50 / 361
  1. Can I Get A Little Less Satisfaction, Please?Michael Plant - manuscript
    While life satisfaction theories (LSTs) of well-being are barely discussed in philosophy, they are popular among social scientists and wider society. When philosophers have discussed LSTs, they are taken to be a distinct alternative to the three canonical accounts of well-being—hedonism, desire theories, the objective list. This essay makes three main claims. First, on closer inspection, LSTs are indistinguishable from a type of desire theory—the global desire theory. Second, the life satisfaction/global desire theories are the only subjectivist accounts of well-being (...)
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  2. The Epistemic Argument for Hedonism.Neil Sinhababu - manuscript
    I defend hedonism about moral value by first presenting an argument for moral skepticism, and then showing that phenomenal introspection gives us a unique way to defeat the skeptical argument and establish pleasure's goodness.
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  3. Wireheading as a Possible Contributor to Civilizational Decline.Alexey Turchin - manuscript
    Abstract: Advances in new technologies create new ways to stimulate the pleasure center of the human brain via new chemicals, direct application of electricity, electromagnetic fields, “reward hacking” in games and social networks, and in the future, possibly via genetic manipulation, nanorobots and AI systems. This may have two consequences: a) human life may become more interesting, b) humans may stop participating in any external activities, including work, maintenance, reproduction, and even caring for their own health, which could slowly contribute (...)
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  4. The Pleasures of Tranquillity.Alex Voorhoeve - manuscript
    Epicurus posited that the best life involves the greatest pleasures. He also argued that it involves attaining tranquillity. Many commentators have expressed scepticism that these two claims are compatible. For, they argue, Epicurus’ tranquil life is so austere that it is hard to see how it could be maximally pleasurable. Here, I offer an Epicurean account of the pleasures of tranquillity. I also consider different ways of valuing lives from a hedonistic point of view. Benthamite hedonists value lives by the (...)
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  5. A Defense Of Nozick's "Experience Machine".Nathan Ballantyne - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 18.
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  6. Is Mill's Hedonism Inconsistent?'.Norman O. Dahl - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
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  7. Is Pleasure All That is Good About Experience?Willem Deijl - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1-19.
    Experientialist accounts of wellbeing are those accounts of wellbeing that subscribe to the experience requirement. Typically, these accounts are hedonistic. In this article I present the claim that hedonism is not the most plausible experientialist account of wellbeing. The value of experience should not be understood as being limited to pleasure, and as such, the most plausible experientialist account of wellbeing is pluralistic, not hedonistic. In support of this claim, I argue first that pleasure should not be understood as a (...)
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  8. Strangers to Ourselves: A Nietzschean Challenge to the Badness of Suffering.Nicolas Delon - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Is suffering really bad? The late Derek Parfit argued that we all have reasons to want to avoid future agony and that suffering is in itself bad both for the one who suffers and impersonally. Nietzsche denied that suffering was intrinsically bad and that its value could even be impersonal. This paper has two aims. It argues against what I call ‘Realism about the Value of Suffering’ by drawing from a broadly Nietzschean debunking of our evaluative attitudes, showing that a (...)
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  9. Socrates’s Great Speech: The Defense of Philosophy in Plato’s Gorgias.Tushar Irani - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    This paper focuses on a neglected portion of Plato’s Gorgias from 506c to 513d during Socrates’s discussion with Callicles. I claim that Callicles adopts the view that virtue lies in self-preservation in this part of the dialogue. Such a position allows him to assert the value of rhetoric in civic life by appealing not to the goodness of acting unjustly with impunity, but to the badness of suffering unjustly without remedy. On this view, the benefits of the life of rhetoric (...)
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  10. The Experience Requirement on Well-Being.Eden Lin - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):867-886.
    According to the experience requirement on well-being, differences in subjects’ levels of welfare or well-being require differences in the phenomenology of their experiences. I explain why the two existing arguments for this requirement are not successful. Then, I introduce a more promising argument for it: that unless we accept the requirement, we cannot plausibly explain why only sentient beings are welfare subjects. I argue, however, that because the right kind of theory of well-being can plausibly account for that apparent fact (...)
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  11. An Honest Look at Hybrid Theories of Pleasure.Daniel Pallies - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):887-907.
    What makes it the case that a given experience is pleasurable? According to the felt-quality theory, each pleasurable experience is pleasurable because of the way that it feels—its “qualitative character” or “felt-quality”. According to the attitudinal theory, each pleasurable experience is pleasurable because the experiencer takes certain attitudes towards it. These two theories of pleasure are typically framed as rivals, but it could be that they are both partly right. It could be that pleasure is partly a matter of felt-quality, (...)
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  12. Well-Being and the Good Death.Stephen M. Campbell - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3):607-623.
    The philosophical literature on well-being and the good life contains very little explicit discussion of what makes for a better or worse death. The purpose of this essay is to highlight some commonly held views about the good death and investigate whether these views are recognized by the leading theories of well-being. While the most widely discussed theories do have implications about what constitutes a good death, they seem unable to fully accommodate these popular good death views. I offer two (...)
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  13. Vātsyāyana’s Guide to Liberation.Nilanjan Das - 2020 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 48 (5):791-825.
    In this essay, my aim is to explain Vātsyāyana’s solution to a problem that arises for his theory of liberation. For him and most Nyāya philosophers after him, liberation consists in the absolute cessation of pain. Since this requires freedom from embodied existence, it also results in the absolute cessation of pleasure. How, then, can agents like us be rationally motivated to seek liberation? Vātsyāyana’s solution depends on what I will call the Pain Principle, i.e., the principle that we should (...)
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  14. A Defense of Free-Roaming Cats From a Hedonist Account of Feline Well-Being.C. E. Abbate - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (3):439-461.
    There is a widespread belief that for their own safety and for the protection of wildlife, cats should be permanently kept indoors. Against this view, I argue that cat guardians have a duty to provide their feline companions with outdoor access. The argument is based on a sophisticated hedonistic account of animal well-being that acknowledges that the performance of species-normal ethological behavior is especially pleasurable. Territorial behavior, which requires outdoor access, is a feline-normal ethological behavior, so when a cat is (...)
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  15. An Opinionated Guide to “What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best”.Chris Heathwood - 2020 - In Andrea Sauchelli (ed.), Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons: An Introduction and Critical Inquiry. Routledge. pp. 94-113.
    Derek Parfit's monumental 1984 book Reasons and Persons contains a little appendix called "What Makes Someone's Life Go Best," a mini-essay on well-being that has taken on a life of its own apart from the body to which it is attached. This paper serves as a critical guide to that appendix. Topics include: the nature of pleasure and pain and its relation to theories of well-being; the unrestricted desire-fulfillment theory and the problem of remote desires; whether a person's actual preferences (...)
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  16. Intuitions and Values: Re-Assessing the Classical Arguments Against Quantitative Hedonism.David Lanius - 2020 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):53-84.
    Few philosophers today embrace quantitative hedonism, which states that a person’s well-being depends only on the amount of her experienced happiness and suffering. Despite recent attempts to rehabilitate it, most philosophers still consider it untenable. The most influential arguments levelled against it by Mill, Moore, Nozick and Kagan purport to demonstrate that well-being must depend on more than only the amount of experienced happiness and suffering. I argue in this paper that quantitative hedonism can rebut these arguments by pointing out (...)
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  17. Attitudinal and Phenomenological Theories of Pleasure.Eden Lin - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):510-524.
    On phenomenological theories of pleasure, what makes an experience a pleasure is the way it feels. On attitudinal theories, what makes an experience a pleasure is its relationship to the favorable attitudes of the subject who is having it. I advance the debate between these theories in two ways. First, I argue that the main objection to phenomenological theories, the heterogeneity problem, is not compelling. While others have argued for this before, I identify an especially serious version of this problem (...)
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  18. A Defense of Basic Prudential Hedonism.Joe Nelson - 2020 - Dissertation, Duke University
    Prudential hedonism is a school of thought in the philosophy of welfare that says that only pleasure is good for us in itself and only pain is bad for us in itself. This dissertation concerns an especially austere form of prudential hedonism: basic prudential hedonism (BPH). BPH claims that all pleasure is good for us in itself, and all pain is bad for us in itself, without exception; that all pleasures feel fundamentally alike, as do all pains; and that the (...)
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  19. Epicurean Advice for the Modern Consumer.Tim O'Keefe - 2020 - In Kelly Arenson (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Hellenistic Philosophy. pp. 407-416.
    Epicurus thought that the conventional values of Greek society—in particular, its celebration of luxury and wealth—often led people astray. It is by rejecting these values, reducing our desires, and leading a moderately ascetic life that we can attain happiness. But Epicurus’ message is also pertinent for those of us in modern Western culture, with an economy based on constant consumption and an advertising industry that molds us to serve that economy by enlarging our desires. This paper begins with an outline (...)
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  20. Aesthetic Hedonism and Its Critics.Servaas Van der Berg - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1):e12645.
    This essay surveys the main objections to aesthetic hedonism, the view that aesthetic value is reducible to the value of aesthetic pleasure or experience. Hedonism is the dominant view of aesthetic value, but a spate of recent criticisms has drawn its accuracy into question. I introduce some distinctions crucial to the criticisms, before using the bulk of the essay to identify and review six major lines of argument that hedonism's critics have employed against it. Whether or not these arguments suffice (...)
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  21. Well-Being as Harmony.Hasko von Kriegstein - 2020 - In David Kaspar (ed.), Explorations in Ethics. pp. 117-140.
    In this paper, I sketch out a novel theory of well-being according to which well-being is constituted by harmony between mind and world. The notion of harmony I develop has three aspects. First there is correspondence between mind and world in the sense that events in the world match the content of our mental states. Second there is positive orientation towards the world, meaning that we have pro-attitudes towards the world we find ourselves in. Third there is fitting response to (...)
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  22. Hedonism, Desirability and the Incompleteness Objection.Vuko Andrić - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):101-109.
    Hedonism claims that all and only pleasure is intrinsically good. One worry about Hedonism focuses on the “only” part: Are there not things other than pleasure, such as personal projects and relationships, that are intrinsically good? If so, it can be objected that Hedonism is incomplete. In this paper, I defend Hedonism against this objection by arguing for a distinction between goodness and desirability that understands “desirability” as a deontic concept, in terms of “reason to desire”, but goodness as an (...)
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  23. J.S. Mill on Calliclean Hedonism and the Value of Pleasure.Tim Beaumont - 2019 - Dialogue 58 (3):553-578.
    Maximizing Hedonism maintains that the most pleasurable pleasures are the best. Francis Bradley argues that this is either incompatible with Mill’s Qualitative Hedonism, or renders the latter redundant. Some ‘sympathetic’ interpreters respond that Mill was either a Non-Maximizing Hedonist or a Non-Hedonist. However, Bradley’s argument is fallacious, and these ‘sympathetic’ interpretations cannot provide adequate accounts of: Mill’s identification with the Protagorean Socrates; his criticisms of the Gorgian Socrates; or his apparent belief that Callicles is misguided to attempt to show that (...)
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  24. Explaining the Paradox of Hedonism.Alexander Dietz - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):497-510.
    The paradox of hedonism is the idea that making pleasure the only thing that we desire for its own sake can be self-defeating. Why would this be true? In this paper, I survey two prominent explanations, then develop a third possible explanation, inspired by Joseph Butler's classic discussion of the paradox. The existing accounts claim that the paradox arises because we are systematically incompetent at predicting what will make us happy, or because the greatest pleasures for human beings are found (...)
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  25. The Experience Machine and the Expertise Defense.Guido Löhr - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (2):257-273.
    Recent evidence suggests that participants without extensive training in philosophy (so-called lay people) have difficulties responding consistently when confronted with Robert Nozick’s Experience Machine thought experiment. For example, some of the participants who reject the experience machine for themselves would still advise a stranger to enter the machine permanently. This and similar findings have been interpreted as evidence for implicit biases that prevent lay people from making rational decisions about whether the experience machine is preferable to real life, which might (...)
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  26. What is Good for Spock? A Defense of Attitudinal Hedonism.Isaac Shur - 2019 - Ephemeris 19:46-57.
    Attitudinal Hedonism is a theory of well-being which claims that welfare consists in states of attitudinal pleasure. Fred Feldman characterizes attitudinal pleasure as a state of consciousness similar to attitudes of hope and fear or belief and doubt. He employs the term, enjoyment for the relevant conscious state of attitudinal pleasure and disenjoyment for attitudinal pain. Attitudinal pleasures and pains contrast with sensory pleasures like sex or drugs and sensory pains like cuts or bruises which are felt with the senses (...)
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  27. Non-Repeatable Hedonism Is False.Travis Timmerman & Felipe Pereira - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:697-705.
    In a series of recent papers, Ben Bramble defends a version of hedonism which holds that purely repetitious pleasures add no value to one’s life (i.e. Non-Repeatable Hedonism). In this paper, we pose a dilemma for Non-Repeatable Hedonism. We argue that it is either committed both to a deeply implausible asymmetry between how pleasures and pains affect a person’s well-being and to deeply implausible claims about how to maximize well-being, or is committed to the claim that a life of eternal (...)
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  28. J. S. Mill’s Hedonism: Activism, Experientialism and Eudaimonism.Tim Beaumont - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (3):452-474.
    Many contemporary scholars defend the position that J. S. Mill was a ‘eudaimonist’, in a sense implying that he was not an ‘experiential’ hedonist. One ‘activist’ argument for this interpretation rests on the claim that Mill’s core axiological uses of ‘pleasure’ in Utilitarianism should be understood to refer to worthy or pleasurable activities rather than mental states. This paper offers a three-stage rebuttal of the activist interpretation. Firstly, in the Analysis, the Examination and the Logic, Mill explicitly identifies pleasures and (...)
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  29. Artistic Creativity and Suffering.Jennifer Hawkins - 2018 - In Berys Gaut & Matthew Kieran (eds.), Creativity and Philosophy. New York, NY, USA:
    What is the relationship between negative experience, artistic production, and prudential value? If it were true that (for some people) artistic creativity must be purchased at the price of negative experience (to be clear: currently no one knows whether this is true), what should we conclude about the value of such experiences? Are they worth it for the sake of art? The first part of this essay considers general questions about how to establish the positive extrinsic value of something intrinsically (...)
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  30. No, It Isn’T: A Response to Law on Evil Pleasure.Richard Playford - 2018 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 17 (1):1-12.
    In this paper, I engage with Law’s paper ‘Evil Pleasure Is Good For You!’ I argue that, although his criticism of hedonistic utilitarianism may hold some weight, his analysis of the goodness of pleasure is overly simplistic. I highlight some troubling results which would follow from his analysis and then outline a new account which then remedies these problems. Ultimately, I distinguish between Law’s ‘evil pleasures’ and, what I call, ‘virtuous pleasures’ and show how we can accept the goodness of (...)
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  31. VIII—Epicurus on Pleasure, a Complete Life, and Death: A Defence.Alex Voorhoeve - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (3):225-253.
    Epicurus argued that the good life is the pleasurable life. He also argued that ‘death is nothing to us’. These claims appear in tension. For if pleasure is good, then it seems that death is bad when it deprives us of deeply enjoyable time alive. Here, I offer an Epicurean view of pleasure and the complete life which dissolves this tension. This view is, I contend, more appealing than critics of Epicureanism have allowed, in part because it assigns higher value (...)
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  32. How Pleasures Make Life Better.Andrew Alwood - 2017 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):1-24.
    In this paper, I argue that Phenomenalists about pleasure can concede a key claim, Heterogeneity, commonly used to object to their theory. They also can then vindicate the aspirations of J. S. Mill’s doctrine of higher pleasures, while grounding their value claims in a naturalistic metaethics. But once Phenomenalists concede Heterogeneity they can no longer consistently endorse Hedonism as the correct theory of wellbeing, since they implicitly commit to recognizing distinct kinds of pleasure that are independently good-making. I also explore (...)
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  33. Renunciation, Pleasure, and the Good Life in the Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads.Christopher G. Framarin - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (1):140-159.
    The Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads characterize the life of the saṃnyāsin as devoid of earthly pleasures. At the same time, these and other texts record confusion and suspicion toward those who would pursue such a life, and disbelief that such severe austerity could be required. To many, the saṃnyāsin seems to forsake the good life in forsaking earthly pleasures. I call this the ‘Precluded Pleasures Objection’ to the saṃnyāsin ideal. A number of replies to the Precluded Pleasures Objection might be drawn from (...)
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  34. The Philosophes’ Criticism of Religion and D’Holbach’s Non-Hedonistic Materialism.Hasse Hämäläinen - 2017 - Diametros 54:56-75.
    Baron d’Holbach was a critic of established religion, or a philosophe, in late 18 th -century France. His work is often perceived as less inventive than the work of other materialist philosophes, such as Helvétius and Diderot. However, I claim that d’Holbach makes an original, unjustly overlooked move in the criticism of religious moral teaching. According to the materialist philosophes, this teaching claims that true happiness is only possible in the afterlife. As an alternative, Helvétius and Diderot offer theories according (...)
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  35. The Morality-Welfare Circularity Problem.William Lauinger - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (8):1959-1981.
    Various moral theories are essentially welfare-involving in that they appeal to the promotion or the respect of well-being in accounting for the moral rightness of at least some acts. Further, various theories of well-being are essentially morality-involving in that they construe well-being in a way that essentially involves morality in some form or other. It seems that, for any moral theory that is essentially welfare-involving and that relies on a theory of well-being that is essentially morality-involving, a circularity problem may (...)
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  36. Enumeration and Explanation in Theories of Welfare.Eden Lin - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):65-73.
    It has become commonplace to distinguish enumerative theories of welfare, which tell us which things are good for us, from explanatory theories, which tell us why the things that are good for us have that status. It has also been claimed that while hedonism and objective list theories are enumerative but not explanatory, desire satisfactionism is explanatory but not enumerative. In this paper, I argue that this is mistaken. When properly understood, every major theory of welfare is both enumerative and (...)
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  37. The Experience Machine Objection to Desire Satisfactionism.Dan Lowe & Joseph Stenberg - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (2):247-263.
    It is widely held that the Experience Machine is the basis of a serious objection to Hedonistic theories of welfare. It is also widely held that Desire Satisfactionist theories of welfare can readily avoid problems stemming from the Experience Machine. But in this paper, we argue that if the Experience Machine poses a serious problem for Hedonism, it also poses a serious problem for Desire Satisfactionism. We raise two objections to Desire Satisfactionism, each of which relies on the Experience Machine. (...)
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  38. Western Historical Traditions of Well-Being.Alex Michalos & Dan Weijers - 2017 - In Richard Estes & Joseph Sirgy (eds.), The Pursuit of Well-Being: The Untold Global History. Springer. pp. 31-57.
    This chapter provides a brief historical overview of western philosophical views about human well-being from the eighth century BCE to the middle of the twentieth century. Different understandings of the concept of well-being are explained, including our preferred understanding of well-being as the subjective states and objective conditions that make our lives go well for us. While this review is necessarily incomplete, we aim to discuss some of the most salient and influential contributions to our subject. To that end, we (...)
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  39. The Annicerean Cyrenaics on Friendship and Habitual Good Will.Tim O’Keefe - 2017 - Phronesis: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy 62 (3):305-318.
    Unlike mainstream Cyrenaics, the Annicereans deny that friendship is chosen only because of its usefulness. Instead, the wise person cares for her friend and endures pains for him because of her goodwill and love. Nonetheless, the Annicereans maintain that your own pleasure is the telos and that a friend’s happiness isn’t intrinsically choiceworthy. Their position appears internally inconsistent or to attribute doublethink to the wise person. But we can avoid these problems. We have good textual grounds to attribute to the (...)
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  40. Review of The Birth of Hedonism: The Cyrenaic Philosophers and Pleasure as a Way of Life. [REVIEW]Tim O’Keefe - 2017 - Ancient Philosophy 37 (1):185-192.
  41. Lopsided Lives.Theron Pummer - 2017 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 275-296.
    Intuitively there are many different things that non-derivatively contribute to well-being: pleasure, desire satisfaction, knowledge, friendship, love, rationality, freedom, moral virtue, and appreciation of true beauty. According to pluralism, at least two different types of things non-derivatively contribute to well-being. Lopsided lives score very low in terms of some types of things that putatively non-derivatively contribute to well-being, but very high in terms of other such types of things. I argue that pluralists essentially face a trilemma about lopsided lives: they (...)
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  42. Our Intuitions About the Experience Machine.Richard Rowland - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1):110-117.
    This article responds to a recent empirical study by De Brigard and Weijers on intuitions about the experience machine and what it tells us about hedonism.
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  43. James Warren, “The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists.” Review by Facundo Bey. [REVIEW]Facundo Bey - 2016 - Boletín de Estética 36:71-76.
    The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists se centra en la relación mutua entre las capacidades humanas de sentir placer y dolor y el carácter afectivo que las une con las facultades cognitivas de aprender, comprender, recordar, evocar, planificar y anticiparse. Para esto, Warren consagra toda su agudeza analítica a eminentes obras del pensamiento antiguo: particularmente nos referimos a los diálogos platónicos República, Protágoras y Filebo. Otro tanto hace con De Anima, De Memoria et Reminiscentia, Ética (...)
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  44. A New Defense of Hedonism About Well-Being.Ben Bramble - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    According to hedonism about well-being, lives can go well or poorly for us just in virtue of our ability to feel pleasure and pain. Hedonism has had many advocates historically, but has relatively few nowadays. This is mainly due to three highly influential objections to it: The Philosophy of Swine, The Experience Machine, and The Resonance Constraint. In this paper, I attempt to revive hedonism. I begin by giving a precise new definition of it. I then argue that the right (...)
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  45. The Experience Machine.Ben Bramble - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (3):136-145.
    In this paper, I reconstruct Robert Nozick's experience machine objection to hedonism about well-being. I then explain and briefly discuss the most important recent criticisms that have been made of it. Finally, I question the conventional wisdom that the experience machine, while it neatly disposes of hedonism, poses no problem for desire-based theories of well-being.
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  46. The Philosophy of Well-Being: An Introduction.Guy Fletcher - 2016 - Routledge.
    Well-being occupies a central role in ethics and political philosophy, including in major theories such as utilitarianism. It also extends far beyond philosophy: recent studies into the science and psychology of well-being have propelled the topic to centre stage, and governments spend millions on promoting it. We are encouraged to adopt modes of thinking and behaviour that support individual well-being or 'wellness'. What is well-being? Which theories of well-being are most plausible? In this rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the topic, (...)
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  47. Well-Being: Reality's Role.Andrew T. Forcehimes & Luke Semrau - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (3):456-68.
    A familiar objection to mental state theories of well-being proceeds as follows: Describe a good life. Contrast it with one identical in mental respects, but lacking a connection to reality. Then observe that mental state theories of well-being implausibly hold both lives in equal esteem. Conclude that such views are false. Here we argue this objection fails. There are two ways reality may be thought to matter for well-being. We want to contribute to reality, and we want our experience of (...)
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  48. Two Types of Psychological Hedonism.Justin Garson - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:7-14.
    I develop a distinction between two types of psychological hedonism. Inferential hedonism (or “I-hedonism”) holds that each person only has ultimate desires regarding his or her own hedonic states (pleasure and pain). Reinforcement hedonism (or “R–hedonism”) holds that each person's ultimate desires, whatever their contents are, are differentially reinforced in that person’s cognitive system only by virtue of their association with hedonic states. I’ll argue that accepting R-hedonism and rejecting I-hedonism provides a conciliatory position on the traditional altruism debate, and (...)
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  49. The Experience Machine and the Experience Requirement.Jennifer Hawkins - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. pp. 355-365.
    In this article I explore various facets of Nozick’s famous thought experiment involving the experience machine. Nozick’s original target is hedonism—the view that the only intrinsic prudential value is pleasure. But the argument, if successful, undermines any experientialist theory, i.e. any theory that limits intrinsic prudential value to mental states. I first highlight problems arising from the way Nozick sets up the thought experiment. He asks us to imagine choosing whether or not to enter the machine and uses our choice (...)
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  50. Quand nos émotions sont-elles raisonnables?Stéphane Lemaire - 2016 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141 (2):215-234.
    Nous jugeons les réponses émotionnelles comme plus ou moins raisonnables étant donné leur objet et le contexte. Je soutiens que la légitimité de ces jugements repose sur le caractère raisonnable des désirs ou des dispositions émotionnelles qui expliquent ces réponses émotionnelles. Il est déraisonnable d’être triste de ne pas satisfaire un désir déraisonnable. Mais comment un désir peut-il être déraisonnable ? Je rejette l’idée selon laquelle les désirs seraient raisonnables parce que cohérents. Je suggère que nos désirs et nos dispositions (...)
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