Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):53-84 (2020)

David Lanius
Karlsruhe Institute Of Technology
Few philosophers today embrace quantitative hedonism, which states that a person’s well-being depends only on the amount of her experienced happiness and suffering. Despite recent attempts to rehabilitate it, most philosophers still consider it untenable. The most influential arguments levelled against it by Mill, Moore, Nozick and Kagan purport to demonstrate that well-being must depend on more than only the amount of experienced happiness and suffering. I argue in this paper that quantitative hedonism can rebut these arguments by pointing out a shared systematic flaw in their argumentative structure. In particular, I argue that they are based on thought experiments that invoke either structurally unreliable intuitions or intuitions that are not in tension to the tenets of quantitative hedonism. While this does not rehabilitate the theory by itself, it shows that the classical arguments against quantitative hedonism provide far less evidence against it than commonly thought.
Keywords Hedonism  Thought Experiment  Experience Machine
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophy Without Intuitions.Herman Cappelen - 2012 - Oxford University Press UK.
Ethics and Intuitions.Peter Singer - 2005 - The Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):331-352.
Experimental Philosophy.Joshua Knobe - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):81–92.

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