Rejecting Well-Being Invariabilism

Philosophical Papers 38 (1):21-34 (2009)

Authors
Guy Fletcher
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
This paper is an attempt to undermine a basic assumption of theories of well-being, one that I call well-being invariabilism. I argue that much of what makes existing theories of well-being inadequate stems from the invariabilist assumption. After distinguishing and explaining well-being invariabilism and well-being variabilism, I show that the most widely-held theories of well-being—hedonism, desire-satisfaction, and pluralist objective-list theories—presuppose invariabilism and that a large class of the objections to them arise because of it. My aim is to show that abandoning invariabilism and adopting variabilism is a sensible first step for those aiming to formulate more plausible theories of well-being. After considering objections to my argument, I explain what a variabilist theory of well-being would be like and show that well-being variabilism need not be any threat to the project of formulating theories of well-being that deliver general principles concerning well-being enhancement.
Keywords Well-Being  Meta-ethics  Value theory
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DOI 10.1080/05568640902933452
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Principia Ethica.G. E. Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.

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Citations of this work BETA

Classifying Theories of Welfare.Christopher Woodard - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):787-803.
Hybrid Theories.Christopher Woodard - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 161-174.

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