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Donald W. Bruckner [14]Donald Walter Bruckner [1]
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Profile: Donald W. Bruckner (Penn State University, New Kensington)
  1.  13
    Donald W. Bruckner (2016). Quirky Desires and Well-Being. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (2):1-34.
    According to a desire-satisfaction theory of well-being, the satisfaction of one’s desires is what promotes one’s well-being. Against this, it is frequently objected that some desires are beyond the pale of well-being relevance, for example: the desire to count blades of grass, the desire to collect dryer lint and the desire to make handwritten copies of War and Peace, to name a few. I argue that the satisfaction of such desires – I call them “quirky” desires – does indeed contribute (...)
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  2.  65
    Donald W. Bruckner (2012). Against the Tedium of Immortality. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (5):623-644.
    Abstract In a well-known paper, Bernard Williams argues that an immortal life would not be worth living, for it would necessarily become boring. I examine the implications for the boredom thesis of three human traits that have received insufficient attention in the literature on Williams? paper. First, human memory decays, so humans would be entertained and driven by things that they experienced long before but had forgotten. Second, even if memory does not decay to the extent necessary to ward off (...)
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  3. Donald W. Bruckner (2009). In Defense of Adaptive Preferences. Philosophical Studies 142 (3):307 - 324.
    An adaptive preference is a preference that is regimented in response to an agent’s set of feasible options. The fabled fox in the sour grapes story undergoes an adaptive preference change. I consider adaptive preferences more broadly, to include adaptive preference formation as well. I argue that many adaptive preferences that other philosophers have cast out as irrational sour-grapes-like preferences are actually fully rational preferences worthy of pursuit. I offer a means of distinguishing rational and worthy adaptive preferences from irrational (...)
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  4.  65
    Donald W. Bruckner (2013). Present Desire Satisfaction and Past Well-Being. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):15 - 29.
    One version of the desire satisfaction theory of well-being (i.e., welfare, or what is good for one) holds that only the satisfaction of one's present desires for present states of affairs can affect one's well-being. So if I desire fame today and become famous tomorrow, my well-being is positively affected onlyif tomorrow, when I am famous, I still desire to be famous. Call this the present desire satisfaction theory of well-being. I argue, contrary to this theory, that the satisfaction of (...)
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  5.  21
    Donald W. Bruckner (2011). Silent Prudence. Philosophical Explorations 12 (3):349-364.
    It is commonly recognized that not all actions are candidates for moral evaluation. For instance, morality is silent on the issue whether to tie one's right shoe before one's left shoe or the other way around. This shoe-tying action is not a candidate for moral appraisal. The matter is amoral, for neither alternative is morally required nor forbidden, and both are permissible. It is not commonly recognized that not all actions are candidates for prudential evaluation. I shall argue, however, that (...)
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  6.  35
    Donald W. Bruckner (2011). Colburn on Covert Influences. Utilitas 23 (04):451-457.
    In , Ben Colburn claims that preferences formed through covert influences are defective. I show that Colburn's argument fails to establish that anything is wrong with preferences formed in this manner.
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  7. Donald W. Bruckner (2015). Strict Vegetarianism is Immoral. In Ben Bramble & Fischer Bob (eds.), The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat. Oxford University Press 30-47.
    The most popular and convincing arguments for the claim that vegetarianism is morally obligatory focus on the extensive, unnecessary harm done to animals and to the environment by raising animals industrially in confinement conditions (factory farming). I outline the strongest versions of these arguments. I grant that it follows from their central premises that purchasing and consuming factoryfarmed meat is immoral. The arguments fail, however, to establish that strict vegetarianism is obligatory because they falsely assume that eating vegetables is the (...)
     
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  8. Donald W. Bruckner (2011). Subjective Well-Being and Desire Satisfaction. Philosophical Papers 39 (1):1-28.
    There is a large literature in empirical psychology studying what psychologists call 'subjective well-being'. Only limited attention has been given to these results by philosophers who study what we call 'well-being'. In this paper, I assess the relevance of the empirical results to one philosophical theory of well-being, the desire satisfaction theory. According to the desire satisfaction theory, an individual's well-being is enhanced when her desires are satisfied. The empirical results, however, show that many of our desires are disappointed in (...)
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  9.  36
    Donald W. Bruckner (2007). Rational Responsibility for Preferences and Moral Responsibility for Character Traits. Journal of Philosophical Research 32:191-209.
    A theory of rationality evaluates actions and actors as rational or irrational. Assessing preferences themselves as rational or irrational is contrary to the orthodox view of rational choice. The orthodox view takes preferences as given, holding them beyond reproach, and assesses actions as rational or irrational depending on whether the actions tend to serve as effective means to the satisfaction of the given preferences. Against this view, this paper argues that preferences themselvesare indeed proper objects of rational evaluation. This evaluation (...)
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  10.  66
    Donald W. Bruckner (2011). Second-Order Preferences and Instrumental Rationality. Acta Analytica 26 (4):367-385.
    A second-order preference is a preference over preferences. This paper addresses the role that second-order preferences play in a theory of instrumental rationality. I argue that second-order preferences have no role to play in the prescription or evaluation of actions aimed at ordinary ends. Instead, second-order preferences are relevant to prescribing or evaluating actions only insofar as those actions have a role in changing or maintaining first-order preferences. I establish these claims by examining and rejecting the view that second-order preferences (...)
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  11.  13
    Donald W. Bruckner (2004). Prudence and Justice. Economics and Philosophy 20 (1):35-63.
    Whereas principles of justice adjudicate interpersonal conflicts, principles of prudence adjudicate intrapersonal conflicts – i.e., conflicts between the preferences an individual has now and the preferences he will have later. On a contractarian approach, principles of justice can be theoretically grounded in a hypothetical agreement in an appropriately specified pre-moral situation in which those persons with conflicting claims have representatives pushing for their claims. Similarly, I claim, principles of prudence can be grounded in a hypothetical agreement in an appropriately specified (...)
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  12.  53
    Donald W. Bruckner (2007). Considerations on the Morality of Meat Consumption: Hunted-Game Versus Farm-Raised Animals. Journal of Social Philosophy 38 (2):311–330.
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  13.  6
    Donald W. Bruckner (2013). Adaptive Preferences, Autonomy, and Extended Lives. In Juha Räikkä & Jukka Varelius (eds.), Adaptation and Autonomy: Adaptive Preferences in Enhancing and Ending Life. Springer 7--26.
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  14.  3
    Donald W. Bruckner (2013). Hausman, Daniel M.Preference, Value, Choice, and Welfare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Pp. 153. $90.00 ; $26.99. [REVIEW] Ethics 123 (2):370-374.
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