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Summary A theory of well-being is objective if it allows for the possibility of something being good for someone without that person desiring (or having some other relevant pro-attitude) towards that thing. A theory of well-being is also objective if it allows for the possibility of something being bad for someone without that person being averse (or having some other relevant con-attitude) towards that thing.
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  1. added 2018-11-12
    Multi‐Component Theories of Well‐Being and Their Structure.Alexander Sarch - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):439-471.
    The ‘adjustment strategy’ currently seems to be the most common approach to incorporating objective elements into one's theory of well‐being. These theories face a certain problem, however, which can be avoided by a different approach – namely, that employed by ‘partially objective multi‐component theories.’ Several such theories have recently been proposed, but the question of how to understand their mathematical structure has not been adequately addressed. I argue that the most mathematically simple of these multi‐component theories fails, so I proceed (...)
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  2. added 2018-08-28
    Succeeding Competently: Towards an Anti-Luck Condition for Achievement.Hasko von Kriegstein - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-25.
    ABSTRACTAchievements are among the things that make a life good. Assessing the plausibility of this intuitive claim requires an account of the nature of achievements. One necessary condition for achievement appears to be that the achieving agent acted competently, i.e. was not just lucky. I begin by critically assessing existing accounts of anti-luck conditions for achievements in both the ethics and epistemology literature. My own proposal is that a goal is reached competently, only if the actions of the would-be-achiever make (...)
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  3. added 2018-08-28
    The Disjunctive Hybrid Theory of Prudential Value: An Inclusive Approach to the Good Life.Joseph Van Weelden - 2018 - Dissertation, McGill University
    In this dissertation, I argue that all extant theories of prudential value are either a) enumeratively deficient, in that they are unable to accommodate everything that, intuitively, is a basic constituent of prudential value, b) explanatorily deficient, in that they are at least sometimes unable to offer a plausible story about what makes a given thing prudentially valuable, or c) both. In response to the unsatisfactory state of the literature, I present my own account, the Disjunctive Hybrid Theory or DHT. (...)
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  4. added 2018-08-16
    Sacrifice and Relational Well-Being.Vanessa Carbonell - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (3):335-353.
    The well-being account of sacrifice says that sacrifices are gross losses of well-being. This account is attractive because it explains the relationship between sacrifice and moral obligation. However, sacrifices made on behalf of loved ones may cause trouble for the account. Loving sacrifices occur in a context where the agent’s well-being and the beneficiary’s well-being are intertwined. They present a challenge to individualism about well-being. Drawing inspiration from feminist philosophers and bioethicists, I argue that a notion of ‘relational well-being’, analogous (...)
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  5. added 2018-07-26
    The Weight of Things: Philosophy and the Good Life.Jean Kazez - 2007 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    _The Weight of Things_ explores the hard questions of our daily lives, examining both classic and contemporary accounts of what it means to lead 'the good life'. Looks at the views of philosophers such as Aristotle, the Stoics, Mill, Nietzsche, and Sartre as well as contributions from other traditions, such as Buddhism Incorporates key arguments from contemporary philosophers including Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Robert Nozick, John Finnis, and Susan Wolf Uses examples from biography, literature, history, movies and media, and the (...)
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  6. added 2018-01-26
    Minor Goods and Objective Theories of Well-Being.Christopher M. Rice - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (2):221-231.
    Objective theories of human well-being typically focus on goods such as friendship, knowledge, autonomy, and achievement that are realized by everyone or almost everyone, are realized often in life, and are typically quite important to people. In this paper, I defend the possibility of minor objective goods—goods that still benefit people independently of their subjective attitudes toward them, but which are somewhat less prominent in life. Some examples are experiences of humor, care for young children, care for animals, engagement with (...)
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  7. added 2018-01-26
    Well-Being and Animals.Christopher Rice - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 378-388.
    This essay examines several competing accounts of what makes life go well for non-human animals, including prominent subjective and objective theories of animal well-being.
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  8. added 2017-11-13
    Depression and the Problem of Absent Desires.Ian Tully - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-16.
    I argue that consideration of certain cases of severe depression reveals a problem for desire-based theories of welfare. I first show that depression can result in a person losing her desires and then identify a case wherein it seems right to think that, as a result of very severe depression, the individuals described no longer have any desires whatsoever. I argue that the state these people are in is a state of profound ill-being: their lives are going very poorly for (...)
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  9. added 2017-11-13
    Worlds, Capabilities and Well-Being.H. E. Baber - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (4):377-392.
    Critics suggest that without some "objective" account of well-being we cannot explain why satisfying some preferences is, as we believe, better than satisfying others, why satisfying some preferences may leave us on net worse off or why, in a range of cases, we should reject life-adjustment in favor of life-improvement. I defend a subjective welfarist understanding of well-being against such objections by reconstructing the Amartya Sen's capability approach as a preferentist account of well-being. According to the proposed account preference satisfaction (...)
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  10. added 2017-11-06
    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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  11. added 2017-07-01
    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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  12. added 2017-05-08
    Thomistic Eudaimonism, Virtue, and Well-Being.Matthew Shea - 2017 - Southwest Philosophy Review 33 (1):173-185.
    In contemporary discussions of human well-being, well-being is typically understood in secular terms. Analogously, most contemporary discussions of eudaimonistic virtue ethics, influenced by Aristotle, take human flourishing to be a matter of living virtuously, where flourishing and virtue are both secular notions. For many religious believers, however, well-being and virtuous activity involve not just ethical dispositions and actions, but primarily relationship to God. In this paper, I present an alternative eudaimonistic account of well-being that is theological in nature. This view, (...)
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  13. added 2017-04-10
    The Role of Epistemic Virtue in the Realization of Basic Goods.Baril Anne - 2016 - Episteme 13 (4):379-395.
  14. added 2017-04-06
    A Moorean View of the Value of Lives.Kris Mcdaniel - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):23-46.
    Can we understand being valuable for in terms of being valuable? Three different kinds of puzzle cases suggest that the answer is negative. In what follows, I articulate a positive answer to this question, carefully present the three puzzle cases, and then explain how a friend of the positive answer can successfully respond to them. This response requires us to distinguish different kinds of value bearers, rather than different kinds of value, and to hold that among the value bearers are (...)
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  15. added 2017-03-15
    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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  16. added 2017-02-27
    Well-Being is Survival.Bach Ho - manuscript
    This paper defends the view that intrinsic benefit to a human being consists exclusively in survival. It takes as its point of departure the neo-Aristotelian view that inquiry into intrinsic benefit to a human being should take place within a wider theory of intrinsic benefit to living things, generally. The paper first argues that the neo-Aristotelian view that intrinsic benefit to a living thing consists in flourishing as a member of its species, is mistaken. Rather, intrinsic benefit to a living (...)
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  17. added 2017-01-23
    In Defense of Sophisticated Theories of Welfare.Benjamin Yelle - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1409-1418.
    “Sophisticated” theories of welfare face two potentially devastating criticisms. They are based upon two claims: that theories of welfare should be tested for what they imply about newborn infants and that even if a theory of welfare is intended to apply only to adults, we might still have sufficient reason to reject it because it implies an implausible divergence between adult and neonatal welfare. It has been argued we ought reject sophisticated theories of welfare because they have significantly counterintuitive implications (...)
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  18. added 2017-01-13
    Welfare and Rational Care.Stephen Darwall - 2002 - Princeton University Press.
    What kind of life best ensures human welfare? Since the ancient Greeks, this question has been as central to ethical philosophy as to ordinary reflection. But what exactly is welfare? This question has suffered from relative neglect. And, as Stephen Darwall shows, it has done so at a price. Presenting a provocative new "rational care theory of welfare," Darwall proves that a proper understanding of welfare fundamentally changes how we think about what is best for people.Most philosophers have assumed that (...)
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  19. added 2016-12-12
    Utility and Capability.L. W. Sumner - 2006 - Utilitas 18 (1):1-19.
    When Amartya Sen defends his capability theory of well-being he contrasts it with the utility theory advocated by the classical utilitarians, including John Stuart Mill. Yet a closer examination of the two theories reveals that they are much more similar than they appear. Each theory can be interpreted in either a subjective or an objective way. When both are interpreted subjectively the differences between them are slight, and likewise for the objective interpretations. Finally, whatever differences may remain are less important (...)
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  20. added 2016-12-12
    Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach.Martha C. Nussbaum - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this major book Martha Nussbaum, one of the most innovative and influential philosophical voices of our time, proposes a kind of feminism that is genuinely international, argues for an ethical underpinning to all thought about development planning and public policy, and dramatically moves beyond the abstractions of economists and philosophers to embed thought about justice in the concrete reality of the struggles of poor women. Nussbaum argues that international political and economic thought must be sensitive to gender difference as (...)
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  21. added 2016-12-07
    Morality, Objective Value and Living a Meaningful Life: A Reply to Steven M. Cahn and Christine Vitrano's Essay ‘Living Well’.Max Loxterkamp - 2016 - Think 15 (43):117-123.
    In their essay 'Living Well', Steven M. Cahn and Christine Vitrano argue that to live a meaningful life all we must do is find personal satisfaction and enjoyment. They argue against other philosophers who claim that 'objectively valuable' activities are what make a life meaningful. There are two problems with what they argue in the essay. The first relates to a particular criticism they make of some of those philosophers taking the contrary view, in regards to the difficulty those philosophers (...)
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  22. added 2016-09-23
    Quirky Desires and Well-Being.Donald Bruckner - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (2):1-34.
    According to a desire-satisfaction theory of well-being, the satisfaction of one’s desires is what promotes one’s well-being. Against this, it is frequently objected that some desires are beyond the pale of well-being relevance, for example: the desire to count blades of grass, the desire to collect dryer lint and the desire to make handwritten copies of War and Peace, to name a few. I argue that the satisfaction of such desires – I call them “quirky” desires – does indeed contribute (...)
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  23. added 2016-09-13
    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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  24. added 2016-05-24
    Mapping Human Values: Enhancing Social Marketing Through Obituary Data-Mining.Mark Alfano, Andrew Higgins & Jacob Levernier - forthcoming - In Eda Gurel-Atay & Lynn Kahle (eds.), Social and Cultural Values in a Global and Digital Age. Routledge.
    Obituaries are an especially rich resource for identifying people’s values. Because obituaries are succinct and explicitly intended to summarize their subjects’ lives, they may be expected to include only the features that the author(s) find most salient, not only for themselves as relatives or friends of the deceased, but also to signal to others in the community the socially-recognized aspects of the deceased’s character. We report three approaches to the scientific study of virtue and value through obituaries. We begin by (...)
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  25. added 2016-04-09
    Still Lives: The History and Philosophy of Mourning Texts.Veronica Alfano & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Routledge.
    “Call no one happy until they are dead.” “Never speak ill of the dead.” If we still heed the injunctions of Solon and Chilon of Sparta, then obituaries, which represent a prominent way of expressing the human universal of grief, are a resource for philosophical anthropology. Philosophers have emphasized that we can determine what counts as a virtue for a given type of person in a given cultural context by analyzing what people say about the dead (Zagzebski 1996, p. 135). (...)
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  26. added 2016-03-07
    Against Welfare Subjectivism.Eden Lin - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):354-377.
    Subjectivism about welfare is the view that something is basically good for you if and only if, and to the extent that, you have the right kind of favorable attitude toward it under the right conditions. I make a presumptive case for the falsity of subjectivism by arguing against nearly every extant version of the view. My arguments share a common theme: theories of welfare should be tested for what they imply about newborn infants. Even if a theory is intended (...)
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  27. added 2016-02-02
    Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being, Jon Elster and John E. Roemer . Cambridge University Press, 1991, X + 400 Pages and The Quality of Life, Martha C. Nussbaum and Amartya Sen . Oxford University Press, 1993, Xi + 453 Pages. [REVIEW]Adam Morton - 1996 - Economics and Philosophy 12 (1):101.
  28. added 2016-01-11
    A Theory Of Flourishing.Shidan Lotfi - 2011 - Dissertation, Florida State University,
    The question "What is the good life?" is perhaps the most basic question in all of ethics. The four major paradigms of the good life that have been proposed by various philosophers are: (1) hedonism, (2) various forms of desire-satisfactionism, (3) objective value pluralism, and (4) the hybrid theory--i.e., a combination of (1) and (3). In my dissertation, I critique the leading accounts of flourishing (or wellbeing) and defend an objective value pluralistic theory of flourishing that is based on what (...)
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  29. added 2015-12-07
    Virtue, Happiness, and Wellbeing.Mauro Rossi & Christine Tappolet - 2016 - The Monist 99 (2):112-127.
    What is the relation between virtue and wellbeing? Our claim is that, under certain conditions, virtue necessarily tends to have a positive impact on an individual’s wellbeing. This is so because of the connection between virtue and psychological happiness, on the one hand, and between psychological happiness and wellbeing, on the other hand. In particular we defend three claims: that virtue is constituted by a disposition to experience fitting emotions, that fitting emotions are constituents of fitting happiness, and that fitting (...)
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  30. added 2015-12-01
    The Virtues of Happiness: A Theory of the Good Life. [REVIEW]E. Sonny Elizondo - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):181-183.
    A Review of Paul Bloomfield's book _The Virtues of Happiness: A Theory of the Good Life_ (OUP 2014).
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  31. added 2015-10-27
    An Introduction to Ill-Being.Shelly Kagan - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 4:261-88.
    Typically, discussions of well-being focus almost exclusively on the positive aspects of well-being, those elements which directly contribute to a life going well, or better. It is generally assumed, without comment, that there is no need to explicitly discuss ill-being as well—that is, the part of the theory of well-being that specifies the elements which directly contribute to a life going badly, or less well—since (or so it is thought) this raises no special difficulties or problems. But this common assumption (...)
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  32. added 2015-10-26
    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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  33. added 2015-10-26
    Objective List Theories.Guy Fletcher - 2016 - In The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 148-160.
    This chapter is divided into three parts. First I outline what makes something an objective list theory of well-being. I then go on to look at the motivations for holding such a view before turning to objections to these theories of well-being.
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  34. added 2015-10-26
    A Fresh Start for the Objective-List Theory of Well-Being.Guy Fletcher - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (2):206-220.
    So-called theories of well-being (prudential value, welfare) are under-represented in discussions of well-being. I do four things in this article to redress this. First, I develop a new taxonomy of theories of well-being, one that divides theories in a more subtle and illuminating way. Second, I use this taxonomy to undermine some misconceptions that have made people reluctant to hold objective-list theories. Third, I provide a new objective-list theory and show that it captures a powerful motivation for the main competitor (...)
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  35. added 2015-10-19
    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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  36. added 2015-08-31
    The Elements of Well-Being.Brad Hooker - 2015 - Journal of Practical Ethics 3 (1):15-35.
    This essay contends that the constitutive elements of well-being are plural, partly objective, and separable. The essay argues that these elements are pleasure, friendship, significant achievement, important knowledge, and autonomy, but not either the appreciation of beauty or the living of a morally good life. The essay goes on to attack the view that elements of well-being must be combined in order for well-being to be enhanced. The final section argues against the view that, because anything important to say about (...)
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  37. added 2015-08-31
    How Theories of Well-Being Can Help Us Help.Valerie Tiberius - 2014 - Journal of Practical Ethics 2 (2):1-19.
    Some theories of well-being in philosophy and in psychology define people’s well-being in psychological terms. According to these theories, living well is getting what you want, feeling satisfied, experiencing pleasure, or the like. Other theories take well-being to be something that is not defined by our psychology: for example, they define well-being in terms of objective values or the perfection of our human nature. These two approaches present us with a trade-off: The more we define well-being in terms of people’s (...)
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  38. added 2015-05-28
    Thomas Hurka, The Best Things in Life: A Guide to What Really Matters. [REVIEW]Gwen Bradford - 2011 - Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (4):487-490.
  39. added 2015-05-28
    The Best Things in Life: A Guide to What Really Matters.Thomas Hurka - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Feeling good: four ways -- Finding that feeling -- The place of pleasure -- Knowing what's what -- Making things happen -- Being good -- Love and friendship -- Putting it together.
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  40. added 2015-05-26
    Welfare, Autonomy, and the Autonomy Fallacy.Dale Dorsey - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):141-164.
    In this article, I subject the claim that autonomous choice is an intrinsic welfare benefit to critical scrutiny. My argument begins by discussing perhaps the most influential argument in favor of the intrinsic value of autonomy: the argument from deference. In response, I hold that this argument displays what I call the ‘Autonomy Fallacy’: the argument from deference has no power to support the intrinsic value of autonomy in comparison to the important evaluative significance of bare self-direction or what I (...)
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  41. added 2015-05-18
    The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being.Guy Fletcher (ed.) - 2015 - Routledge.
    The concept of well-being is one of the oldest and most important topics in philosophy and ethics, going back to ancient Greek philosophy and Aristotle. Following the boom in happiness studies in the last few years it has moved to centre stage, grabbing media headlines and the attention of scientists, psychologists and economists. Yet little is actually known about well-being and it is an idea often poorly articulated. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being provides a comprehensive, outstanding guide and (...)
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  42. added 2015-04-23
    A Framework for Understanding Parental Well-Being.William Lauinger - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):847-868.
    Is being a parent prudentially good for one – that is to say, does it enhance one’s well-being? The social-scientific literature is curiously divided when it comes to this question. While some studies suggest that being a parent decreases most people’s well-being, other studies suggest that being a parent increases most people’s well-being. In this paper I will present a framework for thinking about the prudential benefits and costs of parenthood. Four elements are central to this framework: affect, friendship , (...)
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  43. added 2015-03-23
    Welfare.Chris Heathwood - 2010 - In John Skorupski (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Ethics. Routledge. pp. 645-655.
    An introduction to the philosophical debate over what makes a person's life go well. It attempts to clarify the question of welfare and to explore several of the most important answers, while displaying the main contours of the dialectic.
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  44. added 2015-03-20
    The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being – Daniel M. Haybron.Max Hocutt - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):433-434.
  45. added 2015-03-20
    The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being.Pedro Alexis Tabensky - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):740-743.
  46. added 2015-02-25
    Meaningfulness (Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being).Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    This paper is an overview of contemporary theories of meaning in life and its relation to well-being.
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  47. added 2014-10-08
    Lorraine Besser-Jones, Eudaimonic Ethics: The Philosophy and Psychology of Living Well. [REVIEW]Sven Nyholm - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2014.
    Besser-Jones holds that well-being consists in having the experience of satisfying three innate psychological needs at the core of human nature: "relatedness," "autonomy," and "competence." Of these three, the first is the most central one, and we satisfy it by interacting with our fellows in caring and respectful ways: by "acting well." To act well, we need, Besser-Jones argues, a virtuous character: we need certain moral beliefs, and we need those to interact with our intentions in ways that reliably lead (...)
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  48. added 2014-08-23
    The Narrative Calculus.Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 5.
    This paper examines systematically which features of a life story (or history) make it good for the subject herself - not aesthetically or morally good, but prudentially good. The tentative narrative calculus presented claims that the prudential narrative value of an event is a function of the extent to which it contributes to her concurrent and non-concurrent goals, the value of those goals, and the degree to which success in reaching the goals is deserved in virtue of exercising agency. The (...)
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  49. added 2014-04-02
    A Theory of Health and Disease: The Objectivist-Subjectivist Dichotomy.Robert M. Sade - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (5):513-525.
  50. added 2014-04-02
    Health as an Objective Value.James G. Lennox - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (5):499-511.
    Variants on two approaches to the concept of health have dominated the philosophy of medicine, here referred to as ‘reductionist’ and ‘relativis’. These two approaches share the basic assumption that the concept of health cannot be both based on an empirical biological foundation and be evaluative, and thus adopt either the view that it is ‘objective’ or evaluative. It is here argued that there are a subset of value concepts that are formed in recognition of certain fundamental facts about living (...)
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