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  1. Desire Satisfactionism and the Problem of Irrelevant Desires.Mark Lukas - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 4 (2):1-25.
    Desire-satisfaction theories about welfare come in two main varieties: unrestricted and restricted. Both varieties hold that a person's welfare is determined entirely by the satisfactions and frustrations of his desires. But while the restricted theories count only some of a person’s desires as relevant to his well-being, the unrestricted theories count all of his desires as relevant. Because unrestricted theories count all desires as relevant they are vulnerable to a wide variety of counterexamples involving desires that seem obviously irrelevant. Derek (...)
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  • Moral error theory and hypothetical reasons.Robert Shaver - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-12.
    Most error theorists want to accept hypothetical reasons but not moral reasons. They do so by arguing that there is no queerness in hypothetical reasons. They can be reduced to purely descriptive claims, about either standards or ordinary standard-independent facts: when I say “I have a reason to take this flight, ” all I say is that “according to certain standards of reasoning, I have a reason to take this flight” or that “I have a desire such that taking this (...)
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  • Eudaimonism and the Ground of Normative Reasons.Kevin Jung - 2022 - Journal of Religious Ethics 50 (1):84-102.
    Journal of Religious Ethics, Volume 50, Issue 1, Page 84-102, March 2022.
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  • Which Desires Are Relevant to Well‐Being?Chris Heathwood - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):664-688.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of well-being says, in its simplest form, that a person’s level of welfare is determined by the extent to which their desires are satisfied. A question faced by anyone attracted to such a view is, *Which desires*? This paper proposes a new answer to this question by characterizing a distinction among desires that isn’t much discussed in the well-being literature. This is the distinction between what a person wants in a merely behavioral sense, in that the person (...)
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  • Basic Education as a Collective Good: In Defence of the School as a Public Social Institution.Tarna Kaisa Kannisto - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 56 (2):305-317.
    Journal of Philosophy of Education, Volume 56, Issue 2, Page 305-317, April 2022.
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  • Assessing the Normative Significance of Desire Satisfaction.Seppe Segers, Guido Pennings & Heidi Mertes - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (4):475-485.
    Metaphilosophy, Volume 53, Issue 4, Page 475-485, July 2022.
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  • Preferring to Decrease One's Own Well-Being.John Bronsteen - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (1):52-64.
    Many scholars have argued that well-being is the satisfaction of preferences, or of fully informed preferences, or of fully informed preferences about one's own life. But none of those theories can be true if it is possible to prefer, with full information, to decrease one's own well-being. And because it is possible to have such a preference, those theories cannot be true.
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  • Good Enough? The Minimally Good Life Account of the Basic Minimum.Nicole Hassoun - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):330-341.
    ABSTRACT What kind of basic minimum do we owe to others? This paper defends a new procedure for answering this question. It argues that its minimally good life account has some advantages over the main alternatives and that neither the first-, nor third-, person perspective can help us to arrive at an adequate account. Rather, it employs the second-person perspective of free, reasonable, care. There might be other conditions for distributive justice, and morality certainly requires more than helping everyone to (...)
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  • Five Tests for What Makes a Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):1-21.
    I evaluate four historically precedented tests for what makes a life worth living: (1) The Suicide Test (Camus), (2) The Recurrence Test (Schopenhauer and Nietzsche), (3) The Extra Life Test (Cicero and Hume), and (4) The Preferring Not to Have Been Test (Job and Williams). I argue that all four fail and tentatively defend the heuristic value of a fifth, The Pre-Existence Test for what makes a life worth living: (5) A life worth living is one that a benevolent caretaker (...)
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  • Preferentism and Self‐Sacrifice.Chris Heathwood - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):18-38.
    According to the argument from self-sacrifice, standard, unrestricted desire-based theories of welfare fail because they have the absurd implication that self-sacrifice is conceptually impossible. I attempt to show that, in fact, the simplest imaginable, completely unrestricted desire-based theory of well-being is perfectly compatible with the phenomenon of self-sacrifice – so long as the theory takes the right form. I go on to consider a new argument from self-sacrifice against this simple theory, which, I argue, also fails. I conclude that, contrary (...)
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  • The Problem of the Kantian Line.Samuel Kahn - 2019 - International Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2):193-217.
    In this paper I discuss the problem of the Kantian line. The problem arises because the locus of value in Kantian ethics is rationality, which (counterintuitively) seems to entail that there are no duties to groups of beings like children. I argue that recent attempts to solve this problem by Wood and O’Neill overlook an important aspect of it before posing my own solution.
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  • Hausman and McPherson on Welfare Economics and Preference Satisfaction Theories of Welfare: A Critical Note.Alexander F. Sarch - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (1):141-159.
    Hausman and McPherson defend welfare economics by claiming that even if welfare does not consist in preference satisfaction, preferences still provide good, if fallible, evidence of welfare. I argue that this strategy does not yet fully solve the problems for welfare economics stemming from the preference satisfaction theory of welfare. More work is needed to show that our self-interested preferences are sufficiently reliable, or in some other sense our best, evidence of well-being. Thus, my aim is to identify the challenges (...)
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  • On the Function of Self‐Deception.Vladimir Krstić - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):846-863.
    Self-deception makes best sense as a self-defensive mechanism by which the self protects itself from painful reality. Hence, we typically imagine self-deceivers as people who cause themselves to believe as true what they want to be true. Some self-deceivers, however, end up believing what they do not want to be true. Their behaviour can be explained on the hypothesis that the function of this behaviour is protecting the agent's perceived focal benefit at the cost of inflicting short-term harm, which is (...)
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  • Lies, Harm, And Practical Interests.Andreas Stokke - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):329-345.
    This paper outlines an account of the ethics of lying, which accommodates two main ideas about lying. The first of these, Anti-Deceptionalism, is the view that lying does not necessarily involve intentions to deceive. The second, Anti-Absolutism, is the view that lying is not always morally wrong. It is argued that lying is not wrong in itself, but rather the wrong in lying is explained by different factors in different cases. In some cases such factors may include deceptive intentions on (...)
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  • What Makes Discrimination Morally Wrong? A Harm‐Based View Reconsidered.Shu Ishida - 2021 - Theoria 87 (2):483-499.
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  • The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
    I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally responsible for the (...)
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  • Multi‐Component Theories of Well‐Being and Their Structure.Alexander F. 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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  • Human Rights and the Minimally Good Life.Nicole Hassoun - 2013 - Res Philosophica 90 (3):413-438.
    All people have human rights and, intuitively, there is a close connection between human rights, needs, and autonomy. The two main theories about the natureand value of human rights often fail to account for this connection. Interest theories, on which rights protect individuals’ important interests, usually fail to capturethe close relationship between human rights and autonomy; autonomy is not constitutive of the interests human rights protect. Will theories, on which human rights protect individuals’ autonomy, cannot explain why the nonautonomous have (...)
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  • Valuing Health.Daniel M. Hausman - 2006 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 34 (3):246-274.
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  • Human Flourishing Versus Desire Satisfaction.Richard J. Arneson - 1999 - Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (1):113-142.
    What is the good for human persons? If I am trying to lead the best possible life I could lead, not the morally best life, but the life that is best for me, what exactly am I seeking? This phrasing of the question I will be pursuing may sound tendentious, so some explanation is needed. What is good for one person, we ordinarily suppose, can conflict with what is good for other persons and with what is required by morality. A (...)
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  • Unprincipled Ethics.Gerald Dworkin - 1995 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20 (1):224-239.
  • Practical Ethics. Normative Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1998 - In Roger Crisp (ed.), How Should One Live?: Essays on the Virtues. Clarendon Press.
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  • Six Theses About Pleasure.Stuart Rachels - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):247-267.
    I defend these claims: (1) 'Pleasure' has exactly one English antonym: 'unpleasure.' (2) Pleasure is the most convincing example of an organic unity. (3) The hedonic calculus is a joke. (4) An important type of pleasure is background pleasure. (5) Pleasures in bad company are still good. (6) Higher pleasures aren't pleasures (and if they were, they wouldn't be higher). Thesis (1) merely concerns terminology, but theses (2)-(6) are substantive, evaluative claims.
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  • The Attractions and Delights of Goodness.By Jyl Gentzler - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):353–367.
    What makes something good for me? Most contemporary philosophers argue that something cannot count as good for me unless I am in some way attracted to it, or take delight in it. However, subjectivist theories of prudential value face difficulties, and there is no consensus about how these difficulties should be resolved. Whether one opts for a hedonist or a desire-satisfaction account of..
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  • CHOICE: an Objective, Voluntaristic Theory of Prudential Value.Walter Horn - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):191-215.
    It is customary to think that Objective List (“OL), Desire-Satisfaction (“D-S”) and Hedonistic (“HED”) theories of prudential value pretty much cover the waterfront, and that those of the three that are “subjective” are naturalistic (in the sense attacked by Moore, Ross and Ewing), while those that are “objective” must be Platonic, Aristotelian or commit the naturalist fallacy. I here argue for a theory that is both naturalistic (because voluntaristic) and objective but neither Platonic, Aristotelian, nor (I hope) fallacious. In addition, (...)
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  • Hedonism and the Good Life.Christine Vitrano - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (1):21-40.
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  • The Unity of Caring and the Rationality of Emotion.Jeffrey Seidman - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2785-2801.
    Caring is a complex attitude. At first look, it appears very complex: it seems to involve a wide range of emotional and other dispositions, all focused on the object cared about. What ties these dispositions together, so that they jointly comprise a single attitude? I offer a theory of caring, the Attentional Theory, that answers this question. According to the Attentional Theory, caring consists of just two, logically distinct dispositions: a disposition to attend to an object and hence to considerations (...)
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  • Duties to Companion Animals.Steve Cooke - 2011 - Res Publica 17 (3):261-274.
    This paper outlines the moral contours of human relationships with companion animals. The paper details three sources of duties to and regarding companion animals: (1) from the animal’s status as property, (2) from the animal’s position in relationships of care, love, and dependency, and (3) from the animal’s status as a sentient being with a good of its own. These three sources of duties supplement one another and not only differentiate relationships with companion animals from wild animals and other categories (...)
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  • Health and Well-Being.Jason Raibley - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):469-489.
    Eudaimonistic theorists of welfare have recently attacked conative accounts of welfare. Such accounts, it is claimed, are unable to classify states normally associated with physical and emotional health as non-instrumentally good and states associated with physical and psychological damage as non-instrumentally bad. However, leading eudaimonistic theories such as the self-fulfillment theory and developmentalism have problems of their own. Furthermore, conative theorists can respond to this challenge by dispositionalizing their theories, i.e., by saying that it is not merely the realization of (...)
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  • The Worst Things in Life.Wayne Sumner - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (3):419-432.
    One important test of adequacy for a theory of welfare is completeness. To be complete a theory must cover ill-being as well as well-being. Call this the ill-being test for a theory. The author’s aim in this article is to determine how well equipped the leading theories of welfare are to pass this test. The author reaches three modest conclusions: passing the test is not straightforward for any theory; on the whole, subjective theories do better than objective ones; within the (...)
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  • 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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  • Sidgwick on Pleasure.Robert Shaver - 2016 - Ethics 126 (4):901-928.
  • 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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  • An Unconnected Heap of Duties?David McNaughton - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (185):433-447.
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  • 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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  • Well-Being and the Priority of Values.Jason Raibley - 2010 - Social Theory and Practice 36 (4):593-620.
    Leading versions of hedonism generate implausible results about the welfare value of very intense or unwanted pleasures, while recent versions of desire satisfactionism overvalue the fulfillment of desires associated with compulsions and addictions. Consequently, both these theories fail to satisfy a plausible condition of adequacy for theories of well-being proposed by L.W. Sumner: they do not make one’s well-being depend on one’s own cares or concerns. But Sumner’s own life-satisfaction theory cannot easily be extended to explain welfare over time, and (...)
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  • Children's Well-Being: A Philosophical Analysis.Anthony Skelton - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-being. London. pp. 366-377.
    A philosophical discussion of children's well-being in which various existing views of well-being are discussed to determine their implications for children's well-being and a variety of views of children's well-being are considered and evaluated.
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  • Values, Agency, and Welfare.Jason R. Raibley - 2013 - Philosophical Topics 41 (1):187-214.
    The values-based approach to welfare holds that it is good for one to realize goals, activities, and relationships with which one strongly (and stably) identifies. This approach preserves the subjectivity of welfare while affirming that a life well lived must be active, engaged, and subjectively meaningful. As opposed to more objective theories, it is unified, naturalistic, and ontologically parsimonious. However, it faces objections concerning the possibility of self-sacrifice, disinterested and paradoxical values, and values that are out of sync with physical (...)
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  • Desire-Fulfillment Theory.Chris Heathwood - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 135-147.
    Explains the desire-fulfillment theory of well-being, its history, its development, its varieties, its advantages, and its challenges.
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  • 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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  • On the Objectivity of Welfare.Alexander Sarch - unknown
    This dissertation is structured in such a way as to gradually home in on the true theory of welfare. I start with the whole field of possible theories of welfare and then proceed by narrowing down the options in a series of steps. The first step, undertaken in chapter 2, is to argue that the true theory of welfare must be what I call a partly response independent theory. First I reject the entirely response independent theories because there are widely-shared (...)
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  • Why Should Welfare ‘Fit’?Dale Dorsey - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (269):685-24.
    One important proposal about the nature of well-being, prudential value or the personal good is that intrinsic values for a person ought to ‘resonate’ with the person for whom they are good. Indeed, virtually everyone agrees that there is something very plausible about this necessary condition on the building blocks of a good life. Given the importance of this constraint, however, it may come as something of a surprise how little reason we actually have to believe it. In this paper, (...)
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  • Fitting Attitudes and Welfare.Chris Heathwood - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 3:47-73.
    The purpose of this paper is to present a new argument against so-called fitting attitude analyses of intrinsic value, according to which, roughly, for something to be intrinsically good is for there to be reasons to want it for its own sake. The argument is indirect. First, I submit that advocates of a fitting-attitude analysis of value should, for the sake of theoretical unity, also endorse a fitting-attitude analysis of a closely related but distinct concept: the concept of intrinsic value (...)
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  • Theory Without Theories: Well-Being, Ethics, and Medicine.Jennifer Hawkins - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (6):656-683.
    Medical ethics would be better if people were taught to think more clearly about well-being or the concept of what is good for a person. Yet for a variety of reasons, bioethicists have generally paid little attention to this concept. Here, I argue, first, that focusing on general theories of welfare is not useful for practical medical ethics. I argue, second, for what I call the “theory-without-theories approach” to welfare in practical contexts. The first element of this approach is a (...)
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  • Hybrid Theories.Christopher Woodard - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 161-174.
    This chapter surveys hybrid theories of well-being. It also discusses some criticisms, and suggests some new directions that philosophical discussion of hybrid theories might take.
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  • Desire Satisfactionism and Hedonism.Chris Heathwood - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (3):539-563.
    Hedonism and the desire-satisfaction theory of welfare are typically seen as archrivals in the contest over identifying what makes one's life go best. It is surprising, then, that the most plausible form of hedonism just is the most plausible form of desire satisfactionism. How can a single theory of welfare be a version of both hedonism and desire satisfactionism? The answer lies in what pleasure is: pleasure is, in my view, the subjective satisfaction of desire. This thesis about pleasure is (...)
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  • The Problem of Defective Desires.Chris Heathwood - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):487 – 504.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of welfare says, roughly, that one's life goes well to the extent that one's desires are satisfied. On standard 'actualist' versions of the theory, it doesn't matter what you desire. So long as you are getting what you actually want – whatever it is – things are going well for you. There is widespread agreement that these standard versions are incorrect, because we can desire things that are bad for us -– in other words, because there are (...)
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  • Preferences, Welfare, and the Status-Quo Bias.Dale Dorsey - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):535-554.
    Preferences play a role in well-being that is difficult to escape, but whatever authority one grants to preferences, their malleability seems to cause problems for any theory of well-being that employs them. Most importantly, preferences appear to display a status-quo bias: people come to prefer what they are likely rather than unlikely to get. I try to do two things here. The first is to provide a more precise characterization of the status-quo bias, how it functions, and how it infects (...)
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  • A Paradox for Some Theories of Welfare.Ben Bradley - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):45 - 53.
    Sometimes people desire that their lives go badly, take pleasure in their lives going badly, or believe that their lives are going badly. As a result, some popular theories of welfare are paradoxical. I show that no attempt to defend those theories from the paradox fully succeeds.
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  • Sufficiency and the Minimally Good Life.Nicole Hassoun - forthcoming - Utilitas:1-16.
    What, if anything, do we owe others as a basic minimum? Sufficiency theorists claim that we must provide everyone with enough – but, to date, few well-worked-out accounts of the sufficiency threshold exist, so it is difficult to evaluate this proposition. Previous theories do not provide plausible, independent accounts of resources, capabilities, or welfare that might play the requisite role. Moreover, I believe existing accounts do not provide nearly enough guidance for policymakers. So, this article sketches a mechanism for arriving (...)
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