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  1. Conceptualising Meaningful Work as a Fundamental Human Need.Ruth Yeoman - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 125 (2):1-17.
    In liberal political theory, meaningful work is conceptualised as a preference in the market. Although this strategy avoids transgressing liberal neutrality, the subsequent constraint upon state intervention aimed at promoting the social and economic conditions for widespread meaningful work is normatively unsatisfactory. Instead, meaningful work can be understood to be a fundamental human need, which all persons require in order to satisfy their inescapable interests in freedom, autonomy, and dignity. To overcome the inadequate treatment of meaningful work by liberal political (...)
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  • Meaningfulness and Identities.Wai-Hung Wong - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (2):123-148.
    Three distinct but related questions can be asked about the meaningfulness of one's life. The first is 'What is the meaning of life?', which can be called 'the cosmic question about meaningfulness'; the second is 'What is a meaningful life?', which can be called 'the general question about meaningfulness'; and the third is 'What is the meaning of my life?', which can be called 'the personal question about meaningfulness'. I argue that in order to deal with all three questions we (...)
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  • Optimistic Naturalism: Scientific Advancement and the Meaning of Life.Dan Weijers - 2014 - Sophia 53 (1):1-18.
    Naturalist theories of the meaning of life are sometimes criticised for not setting the bar high enough for what counts as a meaningful life. Tolstoy’s version of this criticism is that Naturalist theories do not describe really meaningful lives because they do not require that we connect our finite lives with the infinite. Another criticism of Naturalist theories is that they cannot adequately resolve the Absurd—the vast difference between how meaningful our actions and lives appear from subjective and objective viewpoints. (...)
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  • Gelungener Sex.Almut Kristine V. Wedelstaedt - 2020 - Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 7 (1):103-132.
    What is good sex? This question can be evaluated in multiple dimensions, the moral dimension being only one of them. My main thesis in this paper is that a criterion for good sex is whether the participants are on a par with each other. This can be understood as a moral ideal. In order to make this argument, I first explain what is meant by “sex”. This is, on the one hand, to delineate clearly which phenome-na are included in the (...)
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  • Hedonism and the Good Life.Christine Vitrano - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (1):21-40.
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  • Pascal’s Wager and Deciding About the Life-Sustaining Treatment of Patients in Persistent Vegetative State.Jukka Varelius - 2011 - Neuroethics 6 (2):277-285.
    An adaptation of Pascal’s Wager argument has been considered useful in deciding about the provision of life-sustaining treatment for patients in persistent vegetative state. In this article, I assess whether people making such decisions should resort to the application of Pascal’s idea. I argue that there is no sufficient reason to give it an important role in making the decisions.
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  • Ending Life, Morality, and Meaning.Jukka Varelius - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):559-574.
    Opponents of voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide often maintain that the procedures ought not to be accepted because ending an innocent human life would both be morally wrong in itself and have unfortunate consequences. A gravely suffering patient can grant that ending his life would involve such harm but still insist that he would have reason to continue living only if there were something to him in his abstaining from ending his life. Though relatively rarely, the notion of meaning of (...)
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  • Public Policy and the Conditional Value of Happiness.Jan-Willem van der Rijt - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):381-408.
    This paper examines the increasingly popular view that new insights from the science of subjective well-being (SSWB) should play a prominent role in the determination of public policy. Though there are instrumental reasons for caring about societal happiness too, these political aspirations of the SSWB appear to be mostly intrinsically motivated. As the intrinsic value of happiness is endorsed across the political happiness as a fitting response to the state of the world, authenticity, and merit – it is shown that (...)
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  • The Question of Happiness in African Philosophy.Lawrence Ogbo Ugwuanyi - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (4):513-522.
  • Intended and Unintended Life.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2012 - Philosophical Forum 43 (4):395-403.
    Some people feel threatened by the thought that life might have arisen by chance. What is it about “chance” that some people find so threatening? If life originated by chance, this suggests that life was unintended and that it was not inevitable. It is ironic that people care about whether life in general was intended, but may not have ever wondered whether their own existence was intended by their parents. If it does not matter to us whether one's own existence (...)
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  • Historical Responsibility and Liberal Society.Janna Thompson - 2009 - Intergenerational Justice Review 1 (1).
    Why should leaders of polities; as representatives of citizens; be required to apologise and make reparations for deeds committed in the historical past? Assumptions commonly made by liberals about the scope of responsibility and the duties of citizens make this question difficult to answer. This paper considers some unsuccessful attempts within a liberal framework to defend obligations of reparation for historical injustices and puts forward an account based on the lifetime-transcending interests of citizens.
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  • Meaningfulness and Kinds of Normative Reasons.John Symons - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):459-471.
    Meaningfulness is the dimension of importance that exists for beings capable of adjudicating between competing kinds of normative reasons. The way an agent decides to rank competing values in terms of importance reflects that agent’s understanding of what counts as meaningful. We can imagine agents who do not engage in this kind of deliberation. Agents who fail to adjudicate between kinds of normative reasons can still act in ways that are prudentially valuable, aesthetically pleasing, and morally praiseworthy. While the actions (...)
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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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  • Digital Wellness and Persuasive Technologies.Laura Specker Sullivan & Peter Reiner - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology 34 (3):413-424.
    The development of personal technologies has recently shifted from devices that seek to capture user attention to those that aim to improve user well-being. Digital wellness technologies use the same attractive qualities of other persuasive apps to motivate users towards behaviors that are personally and socially valuable, such as exercise, wealth-management, and meaningful communication. While these aims are certainly an improvement over the market-driven motivations of earlier technologies, they retain their predecessors’ focus on influencing user behavior as a primary metric (...)
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  • What Is the Question to Which Anti-Natalism Is the Answer?Nicholas Smyth - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):1-17.
    The ethics of biological procreation has received a great deal of attention in recent years. Yet, as I show in this paper, much of what has come to be called procreative ethics is conducted in a strangely abstract, impersonal mode, one which stands little chance of speaking to the practical perspectives of any prospective parent. In short, the field appears to be flirting with a strange sort of practical irrelevance, wherein its verdicts are answers to questions that no-one is asking. (...)
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  • The Power to Make Others Worship.Aaron Smuts - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (2):221 - 237.
    Can any being worthy of worship make others worship it? I think not. By way of an analogy to love, I argue that it is perfectly coherent to think that one could be made to worship. However, forcing someone to worship violates their autonomy, not because worship must be freely given, but because forced worship would be inauthentic—much like love earned through potions. For this reason, I argue that one cannot be made to worship properly; forced worship would be unfitting. (...)
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  • To Be or Never to Have Been: Anti-Natalism and a Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):711-729.
    David Benatar argues that being brought into existence is always a net harm and never a benefit. I disagree. I argue that if you bring someone into existence who lives a life worth living, then you have not all things considered wronged her. Lives are worth living if they are high in various objective goods and low in objective bads. These lives constitute a net benefit. In contrast, lives worth avoiding constitute a net harm. Lives worth avoiding are net high (...)
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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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  • It’s a Wonderful Life.Aaron Smuts - 2012 - Film and Philosophy 16:15-33.
    It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946) presents a plausible theory of the meaning of life: One's life is meaningful to the extent that it promotes the good. Although this theory is credible, the movie suggests a problematic refinement in the Pottersville sequence. George's waking nightmare asks us to compare the actual world with a world where he did not exist. It tells us that we are only responsible for the good that would not exist had we not existed. I argue (...)
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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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  • Must Pessimists Be Suicidal?Joshua Shaw - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-17.
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  • The Well- and Unwell-Being of a Child.Christina Schües & Christoph Rehmann-Sutter - 2013 - Topoi 32 (2):197-205.
    The concept of the ‘well-being of the child’ (like the ‘child’s welfare’ and ‘best interests of the child’) has remained underdetermined in legal and ethical texts on the needs and rights of children. As a hypothetical construct that draws attention to the child’s long-term welfare, the well-being of the child is a broader concept than autonomy and happiness. This paper clarifies some conceptual issues of the well-being of the child from a philosophical point of view. The main question is how (...)
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  • Eine Bedrohung für den Sinn? Human Enhancement und das sinnvolle Leben.Markus Rüther - 2021 - Ethik in der Medizin 33 (4):467-483.
    Das allgemeine Thema des Artikels besteht darin, zwei Diskussionskreise miteinander zu verbinden, die in Isolation betrachtet gut erforscht sind, aber selten zusammengebracht werden: die Diskussion um das sogenannte Human Enhancement und die Debatte um das sinnvolle Leben. Hierbei wird insbesondere die Behauptung ins Blickfeld gerückt, dass Techniken des Human Enhancement einen negativen Einfluss auf den Sinn haben könnten. Ist diese These plausibel? In diesem Artikel wird die These verteidigt, dass diese Frage verneint werden muss. Methodisch werden hierfür drei Varianten untersucht, (...)
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  • The Story of a Life.Connie S. Rosati - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):21-50.
    This essay explores the nature of narrative representations of individual lives and the connection between these narratives and personal good. It poses the challenge of determining how thinking of our lives in story form contributes distinctively to our good in a way not reducible to other value-conferring features of our lives. Because we can meaningfully talk about our lives going well for us at particular moments even if they fail to go well overall or over time, the essay maintains that (...)
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  • Relational Good and the Multiplicity Problem.Connie S. Rosati - 2009 - Philosophical Issues 19 (1):205-234.
  • Eliminating ‘ Life Worth Living’.Fumagalli Roberto - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):769-792.
    This article argues for the elimination of the concept of life worth living from philosophical vocabulary on three complementary grounds. First, the basic components of this concept suffer from multiple ambiguities, which hamper attempts to ground informative evaluative and classificatory judgments about the worth of life. Second, the criteria proposed to track the extension of the concept of life worth living rest on unsupported axiological assumptions and fail to identify precise and plausible referents for this concept. And third, the concept (...)
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  • Meaning in the Lives of Humans and Other Animals.Duncan Purves & Nicolas Delon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):317-338.
    This paper argues that contemporary philosophical literature on meaning in life has important implications for the debate about our obligations to non-human animals. If animal lives can be meaningful, then practices including factory farming and animal research might be morally worse than ethicists have thought. We argue for two theses about meaning in life: that the best account of meaningful lives must take intentional action to be necessary for meaning—an individual’s life has meaning if and only if the individual acts (...)
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  • “Would My Life Still Be Meaningful?”: Intersubjectivism and Changing Meaning in Life.Vincenzo Politi - 2019 - Human Affairs 29 (4):462-469.
    Susan Wolf maintains that the meaningfulness of a life arises when someone acts upon the subjective desire of doing something objectively valuable. This amounts to a hybrid view, which contains both subjectivist and objectivist elements. Wolf’s tentative definition of what is objectively valuable amounts to what, in this article, we define as ‘intersubjectivism’. As it will be argued, however, intersubjectivism poses a number of problems, which are exacerbated in contemporary society and which shed a new light on the problem of (...)
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  • Ambitions.Glen Pettigrove - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (1):53 - 68.
    Ambition is a curiously neglected topic in ethics. It isn’t that philosophers have not discussed it. Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Harrington, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Santayana and a number of others have discussed ambition. But it has seldom received more than a few paragraphs worth of analysis, in spite of the fact that ambition plays a central role in Western politics (one cannot be elected without it), and in spite of the fact that Machiavelli, Harrington, Locke and Rousseau each considered (...)
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  • Die Eigenständigkeit des sinnvollen Lebens innerhalb des guten Lebens.Sebastian Muders - 2018 - Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 5 (2):79-118.
    Der Beitrag untersucht zwei Vorschläge von Susan Wolf und Thaddeus Metz zur Eigenständigkeit des sinnvollen Lebens gegenüber dem Leben in Wohlergehen sowie dem moralischen Leben und entwickelt diese weiter. Während beide Vorschläge sich auf einen Ansatzpunkt zur Entwicklung ihrer Abgrenzungskriterien beschränken – Arten von Gütern oder Arten motivierender Gründe –, basiert die hier verfochtene Eigenständigkeitsthese auf der Idee, dass eine Kombination beider erforderlich ist, um eine zufriedenstellende Unterscheidung des sinnvollen Lebens vom Leben in Wohlergehen und dem moralisch geführten Leben zu (...)
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  • Transcending Absurdity.Joe Mintoff - 2008 - Ratio 21 (1):64–84.
    Many of us experience the activities which fill our everyday lives as meaningful, and to do so we must (and do) hold them to be important. However, reflection undercuts this confidence: our activities are aimed at ends which are arbitrary, in that we have reason to regard our taking them so seriously as lacking justification; they are comparatively insignificant; and they leave little of any real permanence. Even though we take our activities seriously, and our everyday lives to be important, (...)
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  • Utilitarianism and the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (1):50-70.
    This article addresses the utilitarian theory of life's meaning according to which a person's existence is significant just in so far as she makes those in the world better off. One aim is to explore the extent to which the utilitarian theory has counter-intuitive implications about which lives count as meaningful. A second aim is to develop a new, broadly Kantian theory of what makes a life meaningful, a theory that retains much of what makes the utilitarian view attractive, while (...)
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  • Recent Work on the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):781-814..
    A critical overview of mainly Anglo-American philosophical literature addressing the meaning of life up to 2002.
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  • God’s Role in a Meaningful Life: New Reflections From Tim Mawson.Thaddeus Metz - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (3):171-191.
    Characteristic of the contemporary field of life's meaning has been the combination of monism in method and naturalism in substance. That is, much of the field has sought to reduce enquiry into life's meaning to one question and to offer a single principle as an answer to it, with this principle typically focusing on ways of living in the physical world as best known by the scientific method. T. J. Mawson's new book, God and the Meanings of Life, provides fresh (...)
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  • Life's Ethical Symphony.Susan Mendus - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (2):201-218.
    Most modern moral theories are impartialist in character. They perceive the demands of morality as standing in opposition to partial concerns and acting as constraints upon them. In this paper I argue that our partial concerns in general, and our love and concern for others in particular, are not ultimately at odds with the demands of morality, impartially understood, but are the necessary preconditions of our being motivated by impartial morality. If we are to care about morality, we must first (...)
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  • Life's Ethical Symphony.Susan Mendus - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (2):201-218.
    Most modern moral theories are impartialist in character. They perceive the demands of morality as standing in opposition to partial concerns and acting as constraints upon them. In this paper I argue that our partial concerns in general, and our love and concern for others in particular, are not ultimately at odds with the demands of morality, impartially understood, but are the necessary preconditions of our being motivated by impartial morality. If we are to care about morality, we must first (...)
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  • God, the Meaning of Life, and a New Argument for Atheism.Jason Megill & Daniel Linford - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (1):31-47.
    We raise various puzzles about the relationship between God and the meaning of life. These difficulties suggest that, even if we assume that God exists, and even if God’s existence would entail that our lives have meaning, God is not and could not be the source of the meaning of life. We conclude by discussing implications of our arguments: these claims can be used in a novel argument for atheism; these claims undermine an extant argument for God’s existence; and they (...)
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  • 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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  • Meaning in the Pursuit of Pleasure.David Matheson - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (3):552-566.
    Here I speak in favor of the view that life's meaning can be found in the pursuit of pleasure. I first present an argument for this view that is grounded in a traditional concept of meaning. To help ease remaining concerns about accepting it, I then draw attention to four things the view does not imply: that we have a reason to take hedonistic theories of meaning seriously; that meaning can be found in the deeply immoral, the deeply ignorant, or (...)
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  • Meaningfulness as Contribution.Frank Martela - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (2):232-256.
    This article aims to offer a refined way of understanding what we mean by the concepts of meaningfulness and meaning in life. The first step is to separate worthwhileness, as the broadest evaluation of life taking all types of values into account, from meaningfulness, which is seen as one type of intrinsic value along with, for example, well-being, moral praiseworthiness, and authenticity, which I argue are also separate types of intrinsic value. After discussing why we should not settle with the (...)
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  • Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, and Beneficence: A Multicultural Comparison of the Four Pathways to Meaningful Work.Frank Martela & Tapani J. J. Riekki - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • In Search of `the Good Life' for Demented Elderly.Maartje Schermer - 2003 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 6 (1):35-44.
    It may seem paradoxical to speak of the ‘goodlife’ for demented elderly. Many people consider dementia to be a life-wrecking disease and nursing homes to be terrible places. Still, it is relevant to ask how we can make life as good as possible for demented nursing home residents. This paper explores what three standard philosophical accounts of well-being — subjective preference theory, objectivist theories, and hedonism — have to say about the good life for demented people. It is concluded that (...)
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  • Relationships as Indirect Intensifiers: Solving the Puzzle of Partiality.Jörg Löschke - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):390-410.
    Two intuitions are important to commonsense morality: the claim that all persons have equal moral worth and the claim that persons have associative duties. These intuitions seem to contradict each other, and there has been extensive discussion concerning their reconciliation. The most widely held view claims that associative duties arise because relationships generate moral reasons to benefit our loved ones. However, such a view cannot account for the phenomenon that some acts are supererogatory when performed on behalf of a stranger (...)
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  • Well‐Being, Part 2: Theories of Well‐Being.Eden Lin - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (2):e12813.
    Theories of well-being purport to identify the features of lives, and of intervals within lives, in virtue of which some people are high in well-being and others are low in well-being. They also purport to identify the properties that make some events or states of affairs good for a person and other events or states of affairs bad for a person. This article surveys some of the main theories of well-being, with an emphasis on work published since the turn of (...)
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  • 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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  • The No Self View and the Meaning of Life.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2019 - Philosophy East and West 69 (2):419-438.
    Several philosophers, both in Buddhist and Western philosophy, claim that the self does not exist. The no-self view may, at first glance, appear to be a reason to believe that life is meaningless. In the present article, I argue indirectly in favor of the no-self view by showing that it does not entail that life is meaningless. I then examine Buddhism and argue, further, that the no-self view may even be construed as partially grounding an account of the meaning of (...)
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  • Externalism, Internalism, and Meaningful Lives.Iddo Landau - 2021 - Ratio 34 (2):137-146.
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  • After Postmodernism: Meaning of Life and Education.Iddo Landau - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (14):1539-1540.
  • Technological Unemployment, Meaning in Life, Purpose of Business, and the Future of Stakeholders.Tae Wan Kim & Alan Scheller-Wolf - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 160 (2):319-337.
    We offer a precautionary account of why business managers should proactively rethink about what kinds of automation firms ought to implement, by exploring two challenges that automation will potentially pose. We engage the current debate concerning whether life without work opportunities will incur a meaning crisis, offering an argument in favor of the position that if technological unemployment occurs, the machine age may be a structurally limited condition for many without work opportunities to have or add meaning to their lives. (...)
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  • Welfarism.Simon Keller - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (1):82-95.
    Welfarism is the view that morality is centrally concerned with the welfare or well-being of individuals. The division between welfarist and non-welfarist approaches underlies many important disagreements in ethics, but welfarism is neither consistently defined nor well understood. I survey the philosophical work on welfarism, and I offer a suggestion about how the view can be characterized and how it can be embedded in various kinds of moral theory. I also identify welfarism's major rivals, and its major attractions and weaknesses.
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