Dead Sea Apples and Desire-Fulfillment Welfare Theories

Utilitas 23 (03):324-343 (2011)
This paper argues that, in light of Dead Sea apple cases, we should reject desire-fulfillment welfare theories (DF theories). Dead Sea apples are apples that look attractive while hanging on the tree, but which dissolve into smoke or ashes once plucked. Accordingly, Dead Sea apple cases are cases where an agent desires something and then gets it, only to find herself disappointed by what she has gotten. This paper covers both actual DF theories and hypothetical (or idealized) DF theories. On actual DF theories the agent’s well-being is determined by her actual desires, while on hypothetical DF theories the agent’s well-being is determined by the desires that she would have if she were fully and vividly informed with respect to non-evaluative information. Various actual and hypothetical DF theory responses to Dead Sea apple objections are considered, and all such responses are argued to be inadequate.
Keywords well-being  welfare  desire-fulfillment theories
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0953820811000173
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,463
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Chris Heathwood (2005). The Problem of Defective Desires. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):487 – 504.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Douglas W. Portmore (2007). Desire Fulfillment and Posthumous Harm. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):27 - 38.
Bradford Skow (2009). Preferentism and the Paradox of Desire. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2009 (3).
Jason R. Raibley (2010). Well-Being and the Priority of Values. Social Theory and Practice 36 (4):593-620.
Chris Heathwood (2011). Preferentism and Self‐Sacrifice. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):18-38.
Jennifer S. Hawkins (2010). The Subjective Intuition. Philosophical Studies 148 (1):61 - 68.
Dale Dorsey (2013). Desire-Satisfaction and Welfare as Temporal. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):151-171.
Fred Adams & Murray Clarke (2005). Resurrecting the Tracking Theories. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):207 – 221.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

110 ( #41,342 of 1,925,510 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

25 ( #18,969 of 1,925,510 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.