Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3): 565-75 (2015)

Stephen M. Campbell
Bentley University
It seems better to have a life that begins poorly and ends well than a life that begins well and ends poorly. One possible explanation is that the very shape of a life can be good or bad for us. If so, this raises a tough question: when can the shape of our lives be good or bad for us? In this essay, I present and critique an argument that the shape of a life is a non-synchronic prudential value—that is, something that can be good or bad for us in a way that is not good or bad for us at any particular time. After distinguishing two interpretations of ‘the shape of a life’, I argue that the first type of shape can be good or bad for us at particular moments while the other cannot be good or bad for us at all. This suggests that the shape of a life gives us no reason to posit non-synchronic prudential values
Keywords Well-being  Prudential value  The good life  Shape of a life  Timing puzzle
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-014-9540-x
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References found in this work BETA

Weighing Lives.John Broome - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Well-Being and Death.Ben Bradley - 2009 - Oxford University Press.

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