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  1. Animal Rights and the Wrongness of Killing.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    This essay explores the moral reasoning underpinning the common view that it is worse to kill a human compared with killing an animal. After examining the serious deficiencies of traditional approaches, the author develops an alternative utilitarian-based framework that proportions the seriousness of killing to levels of sentience. He demonstrates how this new approach avoids the problems faced by the application of standard utilitarian formulae in weighing the seriousness of killing many low-sentience animals vis-á-vis killing a single human. The author (...)
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  2. A Happy Possibility About Happiness (And Other Subjective) Scales: An Investigation and Tentative Defence of the Cardinality Thesis.Michael Plant - manuscript
    There are long-standing doubts about whether data from subjective scales—for instance, self-reports of happiness—are cardinally comparable. It is unclear how to assess whether these doubts are justified without first addressing two unresolved theoretical questions: how do people interpret subjective scales? Which assumptions are required for cardinal comparability? This paper offers answers to both. It proposes an explanation for scale interpretation derived from philosophy of language and game theory. In short: conversation is a cooperative endeavour governed by various maxims (Grice 1989); (...)
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  3. A Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Theories of well-being tell us what makes a life good for the one who lives it. But there is more to what makes a life worth living than just well-being. We care about the worth of our lives, and we are right to do so. I defend an objective list theory of the worth of a life: The most worthwhile lives are those high in various objective goods. These principally include welfare and meaning. By distinguishing between worth and welfare, we (...)
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  4. Some Qualities of Life Are Not Worth Living.H. T. Engelhardt - forthcoming - Bioethics, Readings and Cases, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey.
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  5. Value in Very Long Lives.Preston Greene - forthcoming - New Content is Available for Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    _ Source: _Page Count 19 As things currently stand, our deaths are unavoidable and our lifespans short. It might be thought that these qualities leave room for improvement. According to a prominent line of argument in philosophy, however, this thought is mistaken. Against the idea that a longer life would be better, it is claimed that negative psychological states, such as boredom, would be unavoidable if our lives were significantly longer. Against the idea that a deathless life would be better, (...)
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  6. Autonomy, Identity and Health: Defining Quality of Life in Older Age.Sara Kate Heide - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2020-107185.
    Defining quality of life is a difficult task as it is a subjective and personal experience. However, for the elderly, this definition is necessary for making complicated healthcare-related decisions. Commonly these decisions compare independence against safety or longevity against comfort. These choices are often not made in isolation, but with the help of a healthcare team. When the patient’s concept of quality of life is miscommunicated, there is a risk of harm to the patient whose best interests are not well (...)
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  7. Transfinitely Transitive Value.Kacper Kowalczyk - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    This paper develops transfinite extensions of transitivity and acyclicity in the context of population ethics. They are used to argue that it is better to add good lives, worse to add bad lives, and equally good to add neutral lives, where a life's value is understood as personal value. These conclusions rule out a number of theories of population ethics, feed into an argument for the repugnant conclusion, and allow us to reduce different-number comparisons to same-number ones. Challenges to these (...)
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  8. Aristotle on the Goodness of Unhappy Lives.David Machek - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    For Aristotle, the happy life is the highest human good. But could even unhappy human lives have a grain of intrinsic goodness? Aristotle’s views about the value of the “mere living,” in contrast to the good living, have been neglected in the scholarship, in spite of his recurrent preoccupation with this question. Offering a close reading of a passage from Nicomachean Ethics IX.9, I argue that, for Aristotle, all human lives are intrinsically good by virtue of fully satisfying the definition, (...)
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  9. Doing Valuable Time. [REVIEW]Antti Kauppinen - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (1):154-158.
    This is a book review of Cheshire Calhoun's 2018 book, Doing Valuable Time.
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  10. Benatar on the Badness of All Human Lives.Iddo Landau - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (1):333-345.
    This paper presents a critique of David Benatar’s arguments on the badness of all human lives. I argue that even if Benatar is right that there is an asymmetry between the good and the bad in life so that each “unit” of bad is indeed more effective than each “unit” of good, lives in which there is a lot of good and only little bad are still overall good. Even if there are more unfulfilled than fulfilled desires in life, a (...)
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  11. Assessment of the Quality of Life in Parents of Children With ADHD: Validation of the Multicultural Quality of Life Index in Norwegian Pediatric Mental Health Hettings.Ingunn Mundal, Petter Laake, Juan Mezzich, Stål K. Bjørkly & Mariela Loreto Lara-Cabrera - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Background: The brief generic Multicultural Quality of Life Index is a culturally informed self-report 10-item questionnaire used to measure health-related quality of life. QoL is an important outcome measure in guiding healthcare and is held as a substantial parameter to evaluate the effectiveness of healthcare. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children might negatively influence the parents’ QoL. Having a validated questionnaire to measure QoL for this population will therefore be a vital first step in guiding healthcare for parents of children (...)
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  12. The Quality of Life, Meaning in Life, Positive Orientation to Life and Gratitude of Catholic Seminarians in Poland: A Comparative Analysis.Jacek Prusak, Krzysztof Kwapis, Barbara Pilecka, Agnieszka Chemperek, Agnieszka Krawczyk, Marcin Jabłoński & Krzysztof Nowakowski - 2021 - Archive for the Psychology of Religion 43 (1):78-94.
    The aim of the article is to examine differences in the quality of life as well as gratitude, meaning in life and positive orientation to life between diocesan and religious seminarians and secular students. The influence of religiosity on quality of life and subjective well-being is the subject of numerous studies, but seminarians have rarely been included in them. The present research was carried out for the first time with a group of diocesan and religious seminarians in Poland and secular (...)
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  13. A Thousand Pleasures Are Not Worth a Single Pain: The Compensation Argument for Schopenhauer's Pessimism.Byron Simmons - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):120-136.
    Pessimism is, roughly, the view that life is not worth living. In chapter 46 of the second volume of The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer provides an oft-neglected argument for this view. The argument is that a life is worth living only if it does not contain any uncompensated evils; but since all our lives happen to contain such evils, none of them are worth living. The now standard interpretation of this argument (endorsed by Kuno Fischer and Christopher (...)
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  14. Transformative Experiences.Marcus Arvan - 2020 - In International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
  15. Quality of Work Life and Work–Life Balance.Pravin Bhende, Nandakumar Mekoth, Varsha Ingalhalli & Y. V. Reddy - 2020 - Journal of Human Values 26 (3):256-265.
    The purpose of this article is to unearth the dimensions of quality of work life and work–life balance and to find the impact of the quality of work life on work–life balance. Data have been gather...
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  16. Worth Living or Worth Dying? The Views of the General Public About Allowing Disabled Children to Die.Claudia Brick, Guy Kahane, Dominic Wilkinson, Lucius Caviola & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):7-15.
    BackgroundDecisions about withdrawal of life support for infants have given rise to legal battles between physicians and parents creating intense media attention. It is unclear how we should evaluate when life is no longer worth living for an infant. Public attitudes towards treatment withdrawal and the role of parents in situations of disagreement have not previously been assessed.MethodsAn online survey was conducted with a sample of the UK public to assess public views about the benefit of life in hypothetical cases (...)
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  17. Population Axiology and the Possibility of a Fourth Category of Absolute Value.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2020 - Economics and Philosophy 36 (1):81-110.
    Critical-Range Utilitarianism is a variant of Total Utilitarianism which can avoid both the Repugnant Conclusion and the Sadistic Conclusion in population ethics. Yet Standard Critical-Range Utilitarianism entails the Weak Sadistic Conclusion, that is, it entails that each population consisting of lives at a bad well-being level is not worse than some population consisting of lives at a good well-being level. In this paper, I defend a version of Critical-Range Utilitarianism which does not entail the Weak Sadistic Conclusion. This is made (...)
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  18. Quality of Life and Value Assessment in Health Care.Alicia Hall - 2020 - Health Care Analysis 28 (1):45-61.
    Proposals for health care cost containment emphasize high-value care as a way to control spending without compromising quality. When used in this context, ‘value’ refers to outcomes in relation to cost. To determine where health spending yields the most value, it is necessary to compare the benefits provided by different treatments. While many studies focus narrowly on health gains in assessing value, the notion of benefit is sometimes broadened to include overall quality of life. This paper explores the implications of (...)
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  19. The Quality of Life: Aristotle Revised, by Richard Kraut.Daniel M. Haybron - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):947-956.
    The Quality of Life: Aristotle Revised, by KrautRichard. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. x + 249.
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  20. Prudence, Sunk Costs, and the Temporally Extended Self.Antti Kauppinen - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (6):658-681.
    Many find it reasonable to take our past actions into account when making choices for the future. In this paper, I address two important issues regarding taking past investments into account in prudential deliberation. The first is the charge that doing so commits the fallacy of honoring sunk costs. I argue that while it is indeed irrational to care about sunk costs, past investments are not sunk costs when we can change their teleological significance, roughly their contribution to our excellence (...)
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  21. Deciding When a Life is Not Worth Living: An Imperative to Measure What Matters.Monica E. Lemmon - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):18-19.
    As a neonatal neurologist, I serve families facing tragic decisions in which they must balance trade-offs between death and life with profound disability. I often find myself in complex discussions about future outcome, in which families sort through in real-time what information they value most in making such a choice. Will he laugh? Will he be in pain? Will he know how much he’s loved? In this month’s feature article, Brick et al share the results of an online survey aimed (...)
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  22. The Deep Error of Political Libertarianism: Self-Ownership, Choice, and What’s Really Valuable in Life.Dan Lowe - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (6):683-705.
    Contemporary versions of natural rights libertarianism trace their locus classicus to Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia. But although there have been many criticisms of the version of political libertarianism put forward by Nozick, many of these fail objections to meet basic methodological desiderata. Thus, Nozick’s libertarianism deserves to be re-examined. In this paper I develop a new argument which meets these desiderata. Specifically, I argue that the libertarian conception of self-ownership, the view’s foundation, implies what I call the Asymmetrical (...)
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  23. The Worthwhileness of Meaningful Lives.David Matheson - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):313-324.
    The M → W thesis that a meaningful life must be a worthwhile life follows from an appealing approach to the axiology of life. Yet one of the most prominent voices in the recent philosophy of life literature, Thaddeus Metz, has raised multiple objections to that thesis. With a view to preserving the appeal of the axiological approach from which it follows, I here defend the M → W thesis from Metz’s objections. My defense yields some interesting insights about both (...)
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  24. Death and Prudential Deprivation.Matthew W. G. McClure - 2020 - Pense (Edinb.) 1:29–41.
    Dying is (sometimes) bad for the dier because it prevents her from being the subject of wellbeing she otherwise would (the deprivation account). I argue for this from a (plausible) principle about which futures are bad for a prudential subject (the future-comparison principle). A strengthening of this principle yields that death is not always bad, and that the badness of death does not consist in that it destroys the dier.
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  25. The Meaning of Life and Death: Ten Classic Thinkers on the Ultimate Question, Michael Hauskeller, 2020. London, Bloomsbury Academic. Xv + 236 Pp. £ 45.50 (Hb) £ 13.99. [REVIEW]Lantz Fleming Miller - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (4):681-683.
    This book is at once incisive and exploratory, interpretive and historic scholarship. It appeals to both general and specialized readers. It uniquely takes a common philosophical theme, the meaning of life, and traces it through many philosophers’ and novelists' works. Sometimes the theme is buried and implicit, and offers a plausible distillation of each author's view. The result is a title that may sound like a self-help book’s—except the contents expand in manifold directions rather than narrow to easy advice. The (...)
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  26. Public Views About Quality of Life and Treatment Withdrawal in Infants: Limitations and Directions for Future Research.Ryan H. Nelson - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (1):20-21.
    Work done within the realm of what is sometimes called ‘descriptive ethics’ brings two questions readily to mind: How can empirical findings, in general, inform normative debates? and How can these empirical findings, in particular, inform the normative debate at hand? Brick et al 1 confront these questions in their novel investigation of public views about lives worth living and the permissibility of withdrawing life-sustaining treatment from critically ill infants. Mindful of the is-ought gap, the authors suggest modestly that their (...)
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  27. Samuel Scheffler on Valuing and Considering Valuable.Jonathan Stanhope - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (4):1609-1616.
    Consider the utterances ‘our friendship is valuable’ and ‘I value our friendship’. On the face of it, these aren’t semantic equivalents: the former ascribes a property to our friendship, whereas the latter reports something about how I relate to our friendship. In this short paper, I first outline Samuel Scheffler’s account of valuing and of the difference between valuing and considering valuable. I then propose an amendment to his account of valuing, one which concerns how we interact with our value-related (...)
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  28. Why Would Very Bad Lives Be Worth Continuing?Matej Sušnik - 2020 - South African Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):285-295.
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  29. Considering Quality of Life While Repudiating Disability Injustice: A Pathways Approach to Setting Priorities.Govind Persad - 2019 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 47 (2):294-303.
    This article proposes a novel strategy, one that draws on insights from antidiscrimination law, for addressing a persistent challenge in medical ethics and the philosophy of disability: whether health systems can consider quality of life without unjustly discriminating against individuals with disabilities. It argues that rather than uniformly considering or ignoring quality of life, health systems should take a more nuanced approach. Under the article's proposal, health systems should treat cases where quality of life suffers because of disability-focused exclusion or (...)
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  30. Is Coming Into Existence Always a Harm? Qoheleth in Dialogue with David Benatar.Jesse Peterson - 2019 - Harvard Theological Review 112 (1):33–54.
    Contemporary philosopher David Benatar has advanced the self-evidently controversial claim that “coming into existence is always a harm.” Benatar’s argument turns on the basic asymmetry between pleasure and pain, an asymmetry he seeks to explain by the principle that those who never exist cannot be deprived. Benatar’s import is almost incredible: humans should cease to procreate immediately, thereby engendering the extinction of the species—a view known as “anti-natalism.” According to many of his readers, the ancient Hebrew sage Qoheleth expresses a (...)
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  31. The Quality of Life is Not Strained: Disability, Human Nature, Well-Being, and Relationships.Matthew Shea - 2019 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 29 (4):333-366.
    This paper explores the relationship between disability and quality of life and some of its implications for bioethics and healthcare. It focuses on the neglected perfectionist approach that ties well-being to the flourishing of human nature, which provides the strongest support for the common view of disability as a harm. After critiquing the traditional Aristotelian version of perfectionism, which excludes the disabled from flourishing by prioritizing rationalistic goods, I defend a new version that prioritizes the social capacities of human nature (...)
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  32. How Human Life Matters in the Universe: A Reply to David Benatar.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 9 (1):1-15.
    In his book, The Human Predicament, David Benatar claims that our individual lives and human life, in general, do not make a difference beyond Earth and, therefore, are meaningless from the vast, cosmic perspective. In this paper, I will explain how what we do matters from the cosmic perspective. I will provide examples of how human beings have transcended our limits, thereby giving human life some meaning from the cosmic perspective. Also, I will argue that human life could become even (...)
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  33. 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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  34. The Quality of Life: Aristotle Revised.Richard Kraut - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    Richard Kraut presents a new theory of human well-being. Kraut's principal idea, Aristotelian in spirit, is that 'external goods' have at most an indirect bearing on the quality of our lives. A good internal life - one with quality emotional, intellectual, social, and perceptual experiences - is what well-being consists in.
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  35. Why Live Forever? What Metaphysics Can Contribute.Aaron Segal - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (2):185-204.
    I suggest a way in which metaphysics might cure us of our desire for immortality. Supposing that time is composed of instants, or even that time could be composed of instants, leads to the conclusion that there is nothing good that immortality offers, nothing we might reasonably want, that is in principle unavailable to a mere mortal. My argument proceeds in three stages. First, I suggest a necessary condition for a feature to ground the desirability of a life or a (...)
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  36. Association Between Spiritual Health and the Quality Of Life in Opioid-Dependent Men in Qom, Iran.Mehdi Yaghobi, Mohammad Abdekhoda & Samira Khani - 2018 - Health, Spirituality and Medical Ethics 5 (1):26-32.
    Background and Objectives: In recent decades, attention paid to quality of life as an important factor to evaluate the therapeutic outcomes and the effectiveness of treatments for illnesses, has increased. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between spiritual health and quality of life in opioid-dependent men in Qom. Methods: The study population of this descriptive-correlational study consisted of 107 opioid-dependent men referring to addiction treatment centers in Qom who were selected by random sampling. Participants completed a (...)
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  37. On the Relative Value of Human and Animal Lives.Mark Bernstein - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1517-1538.
    It has become virtually a matter of dogma—among both philosophers and laypersons—that human lives are more valuable than animal lives. One argument for this claim dominates the philosophical literature and, despite its employment by a host of philosophers, should be found wanting. I try to show that this line of reasoning, as well as one that is less popular but still with significant appeal, are faulty. The errors in each argument seem fatal: the pervasive argument begs the question, and the (...)
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  38. Online Public Reactions to fMRI Communication with Patients with Disorders of Consciousness: Quality of Life, End-of-Life Decision Making, and Concerns with Misdiagnosis.Jennifer A. Chandler, Jeffrey A. Sun & Eric Racine - 2017 - AJOB Empirical Bioethics 8 (1):40-51.
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  39. Will Life Be Worth Living in a World Without Work? Technological Unemployment and the Meaning of Life.John Danaher - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (1):41-64.
    Suppose we are about to enter an era of increasing technological unemployment. What implications does this have for society? Two distinct ethical/social issues would seem to arise. The first is one of distributive justice: how will the efficiency gains from automated labour be distributed through society? The second is one of personal fulfillment and meaning: if people no longer have to work, what will they do with their lives? In this article, I set aside the first issue and focus on (...)
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  40. Euthanasia and Quality of Life.John K. DiBaise - 2017 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 17 (3):417-424.
    Euthanasia advocates argue that end-of-life decisions should be based on patients’ autonomous evaluations of their own quality of life. The question is whether a patient’s quality of life has deteriorated so far as to make death a benefit. Criteria for evaluating quality of life are, however, unavoidably arbitrary and unjust. The concept is difficult to define, and human autonomy has limits. This essay discusses the moral issues raised by quality-of-life judgments at the end of life: who makes them, what criteria (...)
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  41. Weighing Unjust Lives.Andrew T. Forcehimes - 2017 - In Jens David Ohlin, Larry May & Claire Finkelstein (eds.), Weighing Lives in War. Oxford, UK: pp. 284-297.
    Are the lives of those fighting on the unjust side of a war worth less than the lives of those fighting on the just side? It is tempting to answer Yes. There is a powerful and popular rationale for this verdict: Things are intrinsically better when people get what they deserve. According to this view, the goodness of a life is the product of one’s desert-adjusted welfare. In this essay, I highlight the troubling implications that adjusting for desert has in (...)
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  42. Quality Versus Quantity: The Complexities of Quality of Life Determinations for Neonatal Nurses.Janet Green, Philip Darbyshire, Anne Adams & Debra Jackson - 2017 - Nursing Ethics 24 (7):802-820.
  43. Can Suicide in the Elderly Be Rational?Lawrence Nelson & Erick Ramirez - 2017 - In Robert E. McCue & Meera Balasubramaniam (eds.), Rational Suicide in the Elderly Clinical, Ethical, and Sociocultural Aspects. Springer. pp. 1-21.
    In this chapter, we consider, and reject, the claim that all elderly patients’ desires for suicide are irrational. The same reasons that have led to a growing acceptance for the rationality of suicide in terminal cases should lead us to view other desires for suicide as possibly rational. In both cases, desires for suicide can and do materialize in the absence of mental illness. Furthermore, we claim that desires for suicide can remain rational even in the face of some mental (...)
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  44. What If All Value Were Conferred?Carlos Soto - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):217-221.
    I argue that the claim that all value is conferred is incompatible with the view that the capacity to set ends is unconditionally valuable. While this objection has been made, I offer a rebuttal and then a counterexample to the rebuttal. I also argue that, if all value were conferred, then the Kantian notion that moral wrongness consists in a practical contradiction is undermined.
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  45. How Human Life Could Be Unintended but Meaningful: A Reply to Tartaglia.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 7 (1):160-179.
    The question “What is the meaning of life?” is longstanding and important, but has been shunned by philosophers for decades. Instead, contemporary philosophers have focused on other questions, such as “What gives meaning to the life of a person?” According to James Tartaglia, this research on “meaning in life” is shallow and pointless. He urges philosophers to redirect their attention back to the fundamental question about “meaning of life.” Tartaglia argues that humanity was not created for a purpose and, therefore, (...)
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  46. What Good is Meaning in Life?Christopher Woodard - 2017 - De Ethica 4 (3):67-79.
    Most philosophers writing on meaning in life agree that it is a distinct kind of final value. This consensus view has two components: the ‘final value claim’ that meaning in life is a kind of final value, and the ‘distinctness claim’ that it is distinct from all other kinds of final value. This paper discusses some difficulties in vindicating both claims at once. One way to underscore the distinctness of meaning, for example, is to retain a feature of our pretheoretical (...)
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  47. Fearing Death as Fearing the Loss of One's Life: Lessons From Alzheimer's Disease.David Beglin - 2016 - In Michael Cholbi (ed.), Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. London: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 101-114.
  48. The Influence of Activeness and Independence on the Quality of Life of Senior Citizens.Edyta Bonk - 2016 - Polish Psychological Bulletin 47 (3):338-345.
    In this study the author has focused on the impact of activeness and independence on the quality of life of seniors. Activeness is taken to mean the participation in regular everyday tasks. Functional independence is independence in everyday life. Quality of life in old age describes the level of satisfaction with life and indicators of successful ageing. The survey was conducted in October 2013 among four groups of seniors. Two variables determined the distribution of respondents: the level of activeness and (...)
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  49. Good Fit Versus Meaning in Life.Wim de Muijnck - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (3):309-324.
    Meaning in life is too important not to study systematically, but doing so is made difficult by conceptual indeterminacy. An approach to meaning that is promising but, indeed, conceptually vague is Jonathan Haidt’s ‘cross-level coherence’ account. In order to remove the vagueness, I propose a concept of ‘good fit’ that a) captures central aspects of meaning as it is discussed in the literature; b) brings the subject of meaning under the survey of the dynamicist or ‘embodied-embedded’ philosophy of cognition; and (...)
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  50. The Ashley Treatment: Improving Quality of Life or Infringing Dignity and Rights?Caroline Harnacke - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (3):141-150.
    The ‘Ashley treatment’ has raised much ethical controversy. This article starts from the observation that this debate suffers from a lack of careful philosophical analysis which is essential for an ethical assessment. I focus on two central arguments in the debate, namely an argument defending the treatment based on quality of life and an argument against the treatment based on dignity and rights. My analysis raises doubts as to whether these arguments, as they stand in the debate, are philosophically robust. (...)
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