Utilitarianism and the Meaning of Life

Utilitas 15 (1):50-70 (2003)
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Abstract

This article addresses the utilitarian theory of life's meaning according to which a person's existence is significant just in so far as she makes those in the world better off. One aim is to explore the extent to which the utilitarian theory has counter-intuitive implications about which lives count as meaningful. A second aim is to develop a new, broadly Kantian theory of what makes a life meaningful, a theory that retains much of what makes the utilitarian view attractive, while avoiding the most important objections facing it and providing a principled explanation of their force.

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Thaddeus Metz
Cornell University (PhD)

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Practical Ethics.John Martin Fischer - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (2):264.
Happiness and Meaning: Two Aspects of the Good Life.Susan Wolf - 1997 - Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):207.
Recent Work on the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):781-814..
Value in Ethics and Economics.Paul Seabright - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (2):303.

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