Classifying theories of welfare

Philosophical Studies 165 (3):787-803 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper argues that we should replace the common classification of theories of welfare into the categories of hedonism, desire theories, and objective list theories. The tripartite classification is objectionable because it is unduly narrow and it is confusing: it excludes theories of welfare that are worthy of discussion, and it obscures important distinctions. In its place, the paper proposes two independent classifications corresponding to a distinction emphasised by Roger Crisp: a four-category classification of enumerative theories (about which items constitute welfare), and a four-category classification of explanatory theories (about why these items constitute welfare).

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Christopher Woodard
Nottingham University

Citations of this work

Well-being.Roger Crisp - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Autonomy, Rationality, and Contemporary Bioethics.Jonathan Pugh - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Well-Being Coherentism.Gil Hersch - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (4):1045-1065.

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Principia ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Thomas Baldwin.
Utilitarianism.J. S. Mill - 1861 - Oxford University Press UK. Edited by Roger Crisp.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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