Scales for Scope: A New Solution to the Scope Problem for Pro-Attitude-Based Well-Being

Utilitas 30 (4):417-438 (2018)

Authors
Hasko von Kriegstein
Ryerson University
Abstract
Theories of well-being that give an important role to satisfied pro-attitudes need to account for the fact that, intuitively, the scope of possible objects of pro-attitudes seems much wider than the scope of things, states, or events that affect our well-being. Parfit famously illustrated this with his wish that a stranger may recover from an illness: it seems implausible that the stranger’s recovery would constitute a benefit for Parfit. There is no consensus in the literature about how to rule out such well-being-irrelevant pro-attitudes. I argue, first, that there is no distinction in kind between well-being-relevant and irrelevant pro-attitudes. Instead, well-being-irrelevant pro-attitudes are the limiting cases on the scale measuring how much of a difference pro-attitudes make to the subject’s well-being. Second, I propose a particular scalar model according to which the well-being-relevance of pro-attitudes is measured by either their hedonic tone, or by the subject’s conative commitment.
Keywords well-being  subjectivism  scope problem  pro-attitudes  conative commitment  hedonic tone  desire  pleasure  hedonism
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DOI 10.1017/S0953820818000067
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The Reduction of Sensory Pleasure to Desire.Chris Heathwood - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):23-44.
How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal.Murat Aydede - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):119-133.

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