On ‘Hybrid’ Theories of Personal Good

Utilitas 31 (4):450-462 (2019)
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Abstract

‘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 attractions of purely subjective and purely objective views. This common understanding of the theories is, however, mistaken. At the most fundamental level they don't combine a subjective and an objective element but two objective ones. Once this is understood, their attraction as hybrid theories diminishes: the value in their wholes may be just the sum of the values in their parts.

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Thomas Hurka
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

Citations of this work

Fit and Well-Being.Teresa Bruno-Niño - 2024 - Utilitas 36 (1):16-34.
Wellbeing Competence.Søren Engelsen - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (2):42.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
Principia Ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - International Journal of Ethics 14 (3):377-382.
Happiness and Meaning: Two Aspects of the Good Life.Susan Wolf - 1997 - Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):207.
Happiness and meaning: Two aspects of the good life.Susan Wolf - 1997 - Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):207-225.

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