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  1. Unreliable Love.Andre Grahle - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (2):1-8.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The State’s Duty to Ensure Children Are Loved.Luara Ferracioli - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (2):1-19.
    Do children have a right to be loved? An affirmative answer faces two immediate challenges: (i) a child's basic needs can be met without love, therefore a defence of such a right cannot appeal to the role of love in protecting children's most basic needs, and (ii) since love is non-voluntary, it seems that there cannot be a corresponding duty on the part of parents to love their child. In this essay, I defend an affirmative answer that overcomes both of (...)
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  • Externalism, Internalism, and Meaningful Lives.Iddo Landau - forthcoming - Ratio.
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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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  • 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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  • Meaningfulness and Kinds of Normative Reasons.John Symons - forthcoming - Philosophia.
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  • The Story of a Life*: Connie S. Rosati.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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  • 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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  • Gelungener Sex.Almut Kristine V. Wedelstaedt - 2020 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 7 (1):103-132.
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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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  • On ‘Hybrid’ Theories of Personal Good.Thomas Hurka - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (4):450-462.
    ‘Hybrid’ theories of personal good, defended by e.g. Parfit, Wolf, and Kagan, equate it, not with a subjective state such as pleasure on its own, nor with an objective state such as knowledge on its own, but with a whole that supposedly combines the two. These theories apply Moore's principle of organic unities, which says the value of a whole needn't equal the sum of the values its parts would have by themselves. This allows them, defenders say, to combine the (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • Can Life Be Meaningful Without Free Will?Drew Chastain - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (4):1069-1086.
    If we lack deep free agency, like that supposed by metaphysical libertarianism, should we view life as meaningless, pointless, or not worth living? Here I present a new argument in support of meaning-compatibilism, or the view that life can indeed be meaningful without our having deep free agency. I show that this argument secures meaning-compatibilism more effectively than an argument provided by Derk Pereboom. In the process, we learn that Susan Wolf’s hybrid theory of meaning in life is not equipped (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Love and Free Will.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Many think that love would be a casualty of free will skepticism. I disagree. I argue that love would be largely unaffected if we came to deny free will, not simply because we cannot shake the attitude, but because love is not chosen, nor do we want it to be. Here, I am not alone; others have reached similar conclusions. But a few important distinctions have been overlooked. Even if hard incompatibilism is true, not all love is equal. Although we (...)
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  • Two Visions of Welfare.Fred Feldman - 2019 - Journal of Ethics 23 (2):99-118.
    In earlier work I defended Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism—a view about what makes for individual personal welfare. On this view, a person’s level of welfare is entirely determined by the amounts of intrinsic attitudinal pleasure and pain he or she takes in things. The view seems to run into trouble in cases involving individuals who take their pleasure in disgusting, immoral things; and in cases involving individuals who take their pleasure in things that really don’t actually happen; and in cases involving (...)
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  • Risalat Al-Tayr: The Symbolic Metanarrative of the Meaning of Life.Saham Mokhles, Reza Akbari, Reza Sharabini & Gita Moghimi - 2016 - Avicennian Philosophy Journal 20 (56):103-118.
    Risalat-al-Tayr is the symbolic story of the fall of the soul/intellect from the heavenly world, its being captivated in the mundane world, and its effort for liberation and eternal unification with intellectus agens. There are many symbols in the story including bird, hunter, trap, homesickness, journey, captivity, mountain etc. In this treatise, Avicenna proposes a supernaturalistic theory of the meaning of life, according to which the life will be meaningful only if a person discovers an essential goal in her life (...)
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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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  • Sinn- eine dritte Dimension des guten Lebens?Christoph Halbig - 2018 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 5 (2):55-78.
    Die These, dass neben dem Wohlergehen und der Moral der Sinn eine dritte, irreduzibel eigenständige und fundamentale Dimension des guten Lebens darstellt, hat im Zuge des erneuten Interesses an der Kategorie des Sinns breite Beachtung gefunden. Das Ziel dieses Beitrags besteht erstens darin zu erkunden, was diese These eigentlich beinhaltet. Bei näherer Prüfung zeigt sich nämlich, dass die These auch und gerade von ihren Vertretern bisher überwiegend durch Appelle an Intuitionen und durch Abgrenzung zu alternativen Positionen, aber eben nur unzureichend (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Value in Very Long Lives.Preston Greene - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (4):416-434.
    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, it is claimed that such (...)
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  • Mental Evolution and the Universal Meaning of Life.Gregor Flock - manuscript
    Is a universal meaning of life (MoL) possible? In this paper I argue for an affirmative answer: Starting out from the MoL's initial definition as "the active and successful pursuit of the ultimate end in life (UEiL)" and another initial definition of the UEiL, I first introduce four UEiL and MoL categories. In the context of their discussion, I add the elements of non-physical relation and universal scope to the definitions of UEiL and MoL (sect. 2). After those more general (...)
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  • Human Extinction, Narrative Ending, and Meaning of Life.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 6 (1):1-22.
    Some people think that the inevitability of human extinction renders life meaningless. Joshua Seachris has argued that naturalism can be conceptualized as a meta-narrative and that it narrates across important questions of human life, including what is the meaning of life and how life will end. How a narrative ends is important, Seachris argues. In the absence of God, and with knowledge that human extinction is a certainty, is there any way that humanity could be meaningful and have a good (...)
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  • Narrative and Meaning in Life.Helena de Bres - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (5):545-571.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Reward of Virtue: An Essay on the Relationship Between Character and Well-Being.Ian Stoner - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Minnesota
    Most work in neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics begins by supposing that the virtues are the traits of character that make us good people. Secondary questions, then, include whether, why, and in what ways the virtues are good for the people who have them. This essay is an argument that the neo-Aristotelian approach is upside down. If, instead, we begin by asking what collection of character traits are good for us---that is, what collection of traits are most likely to promote our own (...)
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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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  • Reconsidering Meaning in Life: A Philosophical Dialogue with Thaddeus Metz.Masahiro Morioka (ed.) - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life, Waseda University.
    An e-book devoted to 13 critical discussions of Thaddeus Metz's book "Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study", with a lengthy reply from the author. -/- Preface Masahiro Morioka i -/- Précis of Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study Thaddeus Metz ii-vi -/- Source and Bearer: Metz on the Pure Part-Life View of Meaning Hasko von Kriegstein 1-18 -/- Fundamentality and Extradimensional Final Value David Matheson 19-32 -/- Meaningful and More Meaningful: A Modest Measure Peter Baumann 33-49 -/- Is Meaning in (...)
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  • آثار جدید درباره معناى زندگى (Farsi: 'Recent Work on the Meaning of Life’).Thaddeus Metz - 2003 - Naqd Va Nazar: Quarterly Journal of Philosophy and Theology 8 (29-30):266-313.
    Persian translation by Mohsen Javadi of 'Recent Work on the Meaning of Life' (first published in Ethics 2002).
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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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  • 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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  • Persons and Value: A Thesis in Population Axiology.Simon Beard - unknown
    My thesis demonstrates that, despite a number of impossibility results, a satisfactory and coherent theory of population ethics is possible. It achieves this by exposing and undermining certain key assumptions that relate to the nature of welfare and personal identity. I analyse a range of arguments against the possibility of producing a satisfactory population axiology that have been proposed by Derek Parfit, Larry Temkin, Tyler Cowen and Gustaf Arrhenius. I conclude that these results pose a real and significant challenge. However, (...)
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  • Painful Art and the Limits of Well-Being.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Suffering Art Gladly: The Paradox of Negative Emotions in Art. Palgrave/ Macmillan.
    In this chapter I explore what painful art can tell us about the nature and importance of human welfare. My goal is not so much to defend a new solution to the paradox of tragedy, as it is to explore the implications of the kinds of solutions that I find attractive. Both nonhedonic compensatory theories and constitutive theories explain why people seek out painful art, but they have troublesome implications. On some narrow theories of well-being, they imply that painful art (...)
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  • Neutrality, Partiality, and Meaning in Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2017 - De Ethica 4 (3):7-25.
    Discussion of whether values and norms are neutral or not has mainly appeared in works on the nature of prudential rationality and morality. Little systematic has yet appeared in the up and coming field of the meaning of life. What are the respects in which the value of meaningfulness is neutral or, in contrast, partial, relational, or ‘biased’? In this article, I focus strictly on answering this question. First, I aim to identify the salient, and perhaps exhaustive, respects in which (...)
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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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  • After Postmodernism: Meaning of Life and Education.Iddo Landau - 2018 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (14):1539-1540.
  • Pascal’s Wager and Deciding About the Life-Sustaining Treatment of Patients in Persistent Vegetative State.Jukka Varelius - 2013 - 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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