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  1. Values, Preferences, Meaningful Choice.Joe Edelman - manuscript
    Many fields (social choice, welfare economics, recommender systems) assume people express what benefits them via their 'revealed preferences'. Revealed preferences have well-documented problems when used this way, but are hard to displace in these fields because, as an information source, they are simple, universally applicable, robust, and high-resolution. In order to compete, other information sources (about participants' values, capabilities and functionings, etc) would need to match this. I present a conception of values as *attention policies resulting from constitutive judgements*, and (...)
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  2. Can I Get A Little Less Satisfaction, Please?Michael Plant - manuscript
    While life satisfaction theories (LSTs) of well-being are barely discussed in philosophy, they are popular among social scientists and wider society. When philosophers have discussed LSTs, they are taken to be a distinct alternative to the three canonical accounts of well-being—hedonism, desire theories, the objective list. This essay makes three main claims. First, on closer inspection, LSTs are indistinguishable from a type of desire theory—the global desire theory. Second, the life satisfaction/global desire theories are the only subjectivist accounts of well-being (...)
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  3. Structuring Wellbeing.Christopher Frugé - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Many questions about wellbeing involve metaphysical dependence. Does wellbeing depend on minds? Is wellbeing determined by distinct sorts of things? Is it determined differently for different subjects? However, we should distinguish two axes of dependence. First, there are the grounds that generate value. Second, there are the connections between the grounds and value which make it so that those grounds generate that value. Given these distinct axes of dependence, there are distinct dimensions to questions about the dependence of wellbeing. In (...)
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  4. Posthumous Repugnancy.Benjamin Kultgen - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    I argue that the possibility of posthumous harm ought to be rejected. My argument centers on a kind of repugnancy case involving posthumous harm. Supposing the existence of posthumous harm, a person whose wellbeing was extremely high while she was alive could incur small posthumous harms over a long enough period such that it is true of that person that she had a life not worth living. I respond to various objections and in the end conclude that rejecting posthumous harm (...)
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  5. Attraction, Aversion, and Asymmetrical Desires.Daniel Pallies - forthcoming - Ethics.
    Many philosophers endorse the view that desires play an important role in well-being. I argue that, insofar as we endorse this general idea, we ought to believe that desire’s significance for well-being is derived from a pair of more fundamental attitudes: attraction and aversion. Attraction has wholly positive significance for well-being: its satisfaction is good for us, but its frustration is not bad for us. Aversion has wholly negative significance for well-being: its frustration is bad for us, but its satisfaction (...)
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  6. Practical Wisdom, Well‐Being, and Success.Cheng-Hung Tsai - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:1-17.
    What is practical wisdom? What does a practically wise person know? It is widely held that a person is practically wise if and only if the person knows how to live well, and that a person knows how to live well only if the person knows what is good or important for well‐being. The question is: What is it that contributes to or constitutes well‐being known by a wise person? A theory of wisdom without a substantive answer to this question (...)
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  7. CHOICE: an Objective, Voluntaristic Theory of Prudential Value.Walter Horn - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):191-215.
    It is customary to think that Objective List (“OL), Desire-Satisfaction (“D-S”) and Hedonistic (“HED”) theories of prudential value pretty much cover the waterfront, and that those of the three that are “subjective” are naturalistic (in the sense attacked by Moore, Ross and Ewing), while those that are “objective” must be Platonic, Aristotelian or commit the naturalist fallacy. I here argue for a theory that is both naturalistic (because voluntaristic) and objective but neither Platonic, Aristotelian, nor (I hope) fallacious. In addition, (...)
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  8. The Good of Today Depends Not on the Good of Tomorrow: A Constraint on Theories of Well-Being.Owen C. King - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2365-2380.
    This article addresses three questions about well-being. First, is well-being future-sensitive? I.e., can present well-being depend on future events? Second, is well-being recursively dependent? I.e., can present well-being depend on itself? Third, can present and future well-being be interdependent? The third question combines the first two, in the sense that a yes to it is equivalent to yeses to both the first and second. To do justice to the diverse ways we contemplate well-being, I consider our thought and discourse about (...)
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  9. Well-Being as Harmony.Hasko von Kriegstein - 2020 - In David Kaspar (ed.), Explorations in Ethics. pp. 117-140.
    In this paper, I sketch out a novel theory of well-being according to which well-being is constituted by harmony between mind and world. The notion of harmony I develop has three aspects. First there is correspondence between mind and world in the sense that events in the world match the content of our mental states. Second there is positive orientation towards the world, meaning that we have pro-attitudes towards the world we find ourselves in. Third there is fitting response to (...)
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  10. Asymmetrism and the Magnitudes of Welfare Benefits.Andrew T. Forcehimes - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2):175-185.
    One vexing question for Desire Satisfactionism is this: At what time do you benefit from a satisfied desire? Recently Eden Lin has proposed an intriguing answer. On this proposal – Asymmetrism – when past-directed desires are satisfied, the time interval during which you benefit is the time of the desire; and, when future-directed desires are satisfied, the time interval during which you benefit is the time of the object. In this essay, I argue that Asymmetrism forces us to give implausible (...)
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  11. David Sobel, From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism , Pp. Vii + 312. [REVIEW]Owen C. King - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (2):203-207.
    This is a review of David Sobel's monograph, From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism.
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  12. What is Good for Spock? A Defense of Attitudinal Hedonism.Isaac Shur - 2019 - Ephemeris 19:46-57.
    Attitudinal Hedonism is a theory of well-being which claims that welfare consists in states of attitudinal pleasure. Fred Feldman characterizes attitudinal pleasure as a state of consciousness similar to attitudes of hope and fear or belief and doubt. He employs the term, enjoyment for the relevant conscious state of attitudinal pleasure and disenjoyment for attitudinal pain. Attitudinal pleasures and pains contrast with sensory pleasures like sex or drugs and sensory pains like cuts or bruises which are felt with the senses (...)
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  13. On Two Interpretations of the Desire-Satisfaction Theory of Prudential Value.Joseph van Weelden - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (2):137-156.
    This article considers two different ways of formulating a desire-satisfaction theory of prudential value. The first version of the theory (the object view) assigns basic prudential value to the state of affairs that is the object of a person’s desire. The second version (the combo view) assigns basic prudential value to the compound state of affairs in which (a) a person desires some state of affairs and (b) this state of affairs obtains. My aims in this article are twofold. First, (...)
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  14. The Disjunctive Hybrid Theory of Prudential Value: An Inclusive Approach to the Good Life.Joseph Van Weelden - 2018 - Dissertation, McGill University
    In this dissertation, I argue that all extant theories of prudential value are either a) enumeratively deficient, in that they are unable to accommodate everything that, intuitively, is a basic constituent of prudential value, b) explanatorily deficient, in that they are at least sometimes unable to offer a plausible story about what makes a given thing prudentially valuable, or c) both. In response to the unsatisfactory state of the literature, I present my own account, the Disjunctive Hybrid Theory or DHT. (...)
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  15. Review of David Sobel's From Valuing to Value. [REVIEW]Ben Bramble - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201705:2017.05.13.
    Review of Sobel's From Valuing to Value.
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  16. Désir (Avancé).Federico Lauria - 2017 - Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    Les désirs sont centraux pour agir et être heureux. Qu’est-ce qu’un désir ? En quoi les désirs sont-ils importants ? Dans cette entrée, nous tenterons de mettre les mots sur cette expérience si familière et pourtant négligée par la philosophie contemporaine. (1) En guise de préliminaires, nous délimiterons notre objet d’étude à la lumière des principales distinctions entre les désirs et d’autres états mentaux tels que les croyances et intentions, ainsi qu’à l’aide des distinctions classiques parmi les désirs. (2) Notre (...)
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  17. Depression and the Problem of Absent Desires.Ian Tully - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-16.
    I argue that consideration of certain cases of severe depression reveals a problem for desire-based theories of welfare. I first show that depression can result in a person losing her desires and then identify a case wherein it seems right to think that, as a result of very severe depression, the individuals described no longer have any desires whatsoever. I argue that the state these people are in is a state of profound ill-being: their lives are going very poorly for (...)
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  18. The Experience Machine.Ben Bramble - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (3):136-145.
    In this paper, I reconstruct Robert Nozick's experience machine objection to hedonism about well-being. I then explain and briefly discuss the most important recent criticisms that have been made of it. Finally, I question the conventional wisdom that the experience machine, while it neatly disposes of hedonism, poses no problem for desire-based theories of well-being.
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  19. The Experience Machine and the Experience Requirement.Jennifer Hawkins - 2016 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. pp. 355-365.
    In this article I explore various facets of Nozick’s famous thought experiment involving the experience machine. Nozick’s original target is hedonism—the view that the only intrinsic prudential value is pleasure. But the argument, if successful, undermines any experientialist theory, i.e. any theory that limits intrinsic prudential value to mental states. I first highlight problems arising from the way Nozick sets up the thought experiment. He asks us to imagine choosing whether or not to enter the machine and uses our choice (...)
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  20. Attraction, Description and the Desire-Satisfaction Theory of Welfare.Eden Lin - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-8.
    The desire-satisfaction theory of welfare says that what is basically good for a subject is the satisfaction of his desires. One challenge to this view is the existence of quirky desires, such as a desire to count blades of grass. It is hard to see why anyone would desire such things, and thus hard to believe that the satisfaction of such desires could be basically good for anyone. This suggests that only some desires are basically good when satisfied, and that (...)
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  21. A Framework for Understanding Parental Well-Being.William Lauinger - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):847-868.
    Is being a parent prudentially good for one – that is to say, does it enhance one’s well-being? The social-scientific literature is curiously divided when it comes to this question. While some studies suggest that being a parent decreases most people’s well-being, other studies suggest that being a parent increases most people’s well-being. In this paper I will present a framework for thinking about the prudential benefits and costs of parenthood. Four elements are central to this framework: affect, friendship , (...)
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  22. Local Desire Satisfaction and Long Term Wellbeing: Revisiting the Gout Sufferer of Kant’s Groundwork.Alice Pinheiro Walla - 2015 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual.
    In this paper, I analyze the least discussed of Kant’s four examples of duty in the first section of his Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals: the gout sufferer who is no longer motivated by natural interest in his long-term wellbeing, and is thus in a unique position to secure his own happiness from duty. This example has long been wrongly interpreted as a failure of prudential rationality, as recently illustrated by Allen Wood’s reading of that example. -/- I argue (...)
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  23. Subjective Theories of Well-Being.Chris Heathwood - 2014 - In Ben Eggleston & Dale Miller (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 199-219.
    Subjective theories of well-being claim that how well our lives go for us is a matter of our attitudes towards what we get in life rather than the nature of the things themselves. This article explains in more detail the distinction between subjective and objective theories of well-being; describes, for each approach, some reasons for thinking it is true; outlines the main kinds of subjective theory; and explains their advantages and disadvantages.
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  24. How Theories of Well-Being Can Help Us Help.Valerie Tiberius - 2014 - Journal of Practical Ethics 2 (2):1-19.
    Some theories of well-being in philosophy and in psychology define people’s well-being in psychological terms. According to these theories, living well is getting what you want, feeling satisfied, experiencing pleasure, or the like. Other theories take well-being to be something that is not defined by our psychology: for example, they define well-being in terms of objective values or the perfection of our human nature. These two approaches present us with a trade-off: The more we define well-being in terms of people’s (...)
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  25. Review of Matthew D. Adler: Well-Being and Fair Distribution. Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis. [REVIEW]Alex Voorhoeve - 2014 - Social Choice and Welfare 42 (1):245-54.
    In this extended book review, I summarize Adler's views and critically analyze his key arguments on the measurement of well-being and the foundations of prioritarianism.
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  26. The Missing-Desires Objection to Hybrid Theories of Well-Being.William Lauinger - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):270-295.
    Many philosophers have claimed that we might do well to adopt a hybrid theory of well-being: a theory that incorporates both an objective-value constraint and a pro-attitude constraint. Hybrid theories are attractive for two main reasons. First, unlike desire theories of well-being, hybrid theories need not worry about the problem of defective desires. This is so because, unlike desire theories, hybrid theories place an objective-value constraint on well-being. Second, unlike objectivist theories of well-being, hybrid theories need not worry about being (...)
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  27. Values, Agency, and Welfare.Jason R. Raibley - 2013 - Philosophical Topics 41 (1):187-214.
    The values-based approach to welfare holds that it is good for one to realize goals, activities, and relationships with which one strongly (and stably) identifies. This approach preserves the subjectivity of welfare while affirming that a life well lived must be active, engaged, and subjectively meaningful. As opposed to more objective theories, it is unified, naturalistic, and ontologically parsimonious. However, it faces objections concerning the possibility of self-sacrifice, disinterested and paradoxical values, and values that are out of sync with physical (...)
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  28. The Network Theory of Well-Being: An Introduction.Michael Bishop - 2012 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7.
    In this paper, I propose a novel approach to investigating the nature of well-being and a new theory about wellbeing. The approach is integrative and naturalistic. It holds that a theory of well-being should account for two different classes of evidence—our commonsense judgments about well-being and the science of well-being (i.e., positive psychology). The network theory holds that a person is in the state of well-being if she instantiates a homeostatically clustered network of feelings, emotions, attitudes, behaviors, traits, and interactions (...)
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  29. Happiness is Not Well-Being.Jason R. Raibley - 2012 - Journal of Happiness Studies 13 (6):1105-1129.
    This paper attempts to explain the conceptual connections between happiness and well-being. It first distinguishes episodic happiness from happiness in the personal attribute sense. It then evaluates two recent proposals about the connection between happiness and well-being: (1) the idea that episodic happiness and well-being both have the same fundamental determinants, so that a person is well-off to a particular degree in virtue of the fact that they are happy to that degree, and (2) the idea that happiness in the (...)
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  30. Autonomy and Adaptive Preferences.Ben Colburn - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (1):52-71.
    Adaptive preference formation is the unconscious altering of our preferences in light of the options we have available. Jon Elster has argued that this is bad because it undermines our autonomy. I agree, but think that Elster's explanation of why is lacking. So, I draw on a richer account of autonomy to give the following answer. Preferences formed through adaptation are characterized by covert influence (that is, explanations of which an agent herself is necessarily unaware), and covert influence undermines our (...)
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  31. The Subjective Intuition.Jennifer S. Hawkins - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (1):61 - 68.
    Theories of well-being are typically divided into subjective and objective. Subjective theories are those which make facts about a person’s welfare depend on facts about her actual or hypothetical mental states. I am interested in what motivates this approach to the theory of welfare. The contemporary view is that subjectivism is devoted to honoring the evaluative perspective of the individual, but this is both a misleading account of the motivations behind subjectivism, and a vision that dooms subjective theories to failure. (...)
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  32. Well-Being and the Priority of Values.Jason Raibley - 2010 - Social Theory and Practice 36 (4):593-620.
    Leading versions of hedonism generate implausible results about the welfare value of very intense or unwanted pleasures, while recent versions of desire satisfactionism overvalue the fulfillment of desires associated with compulsions and addictions. Consequently, both these theories fail to satisfy a plausible condition of adequacy for theories of well-being proposed by L.W. Sumner: they do not make one’s well-being depend on one’s own cares or concerns. But Sumner’s own life-satisfaction theory cannot easily be extended to explain welfare over time, and (...)
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  33. Rejecting Well-Being Invariabilism.Guy Fletcher - 2009 - Philosophical Papers 38 (1):21-34.
    This paper is an attempt to undermine a basic assumption of theories of well-being, one that I call well-being invariabilism. I argue that much of what makes existing theories of well-being inadequate stems from the invariabilist assumption. After distinguishing and explaining well-being invariabilism and well-being variabilism, I show that the most widely-held theories of well-being—hedonism, desire-satisfaction, and pluralist objective-list theories—presuppose invariabilism and that a large class of the objections to them arise because of it. My aim is to show that (...)
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  34. Adaptive Preference.H. Baber - 2007 - Social Theory and Practice 33 (1):105-126.
    I argue, first, that the deprived individuals whose predicaments Nussbaum cites as examples of "adaptive preference" do not in fact prefer the conditions of their lives to what we should regard as more desirable alternatives, indeed that we believe they are badly off precisely because they are not living the lives they would prefer to live if they had other options and were aware of them. Secondly, I argue that even where individuals in deprived circumstances acquire tastes for conditions that (...)
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  35. Preference Change and Interpersonal Comparisons of Welfare.Alex Voorhoeve - 2006 - In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), Preferences and Well-Being. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 265-79.
    Can a preference-based conception of welfare accommodate changes in people's preferences? I argue that the fact that people care about which preferences they have, and the fact that people can change their preferences about which preferences it is good for them to have, together undermine the case for accepting a preference-satisfaction conception of welfare.
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  36. Integrity, the Self, and Desire-Based Accounts of the Good.Robert Noggle - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 96 (3):301-328.
    Desire-based theories of well-being claim that a person's well-being consists of the satisfaction of her desires. Many of these theories say that well-being consists of the satisfaction of desires that she would have if her desires were "corrected" in various ways. Some versions of this theory claim that the corrections involve having "full information" or being an "ideal observer." I argue that well-being does not depend on what one would desire if she were an “ideal observer.” Rather, it depends on (...)
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  37. Well-Being as the Object of Moral Consideration.David Sobel - 1998 - Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):249.
    The proposal I offer attempts to remedy the inadequacies of exclusive focus on well-being for moral purposes. The proposal is this: We should allow the agent to decide for herself where she wants to throw the weight that is her due in moral reflection, with the proviso that she understands the way that her weight will be aggregated with others in reaching a moral outcome. I will call this the "autonomy principle." The autonomy principle, I claim, provides the consequentialist's best (...)
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  38. Is Motivation Internal to Value?J. David Velleman - 1998 - In C. Fehige & U. Wessels (eds.), Preferences. Walter de Gruyter.
    The view that something's being good for a person depends on his capacity to care about it – sometimes called internalism about a person’s good – is here derived from the principle that 'ought' implies 'can'. In the course of this derivation, the limits of internalism are discussed, and a distinction is drawn between two senses of the phrase "a person's good".
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  39. Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being, Jon Elster and John E. Roemer . Cambridge University Press, 1991, X + 400 Pages and The Quality of Life, Martha C. Nussbaum and Amartya Sen . Oxford University Press, 1993, Xi + 453 Pages. [REVIEW]Adam Morton - 1996 - Economics and Philosophy 12 (1):101.
    review of two similar collections on well-being.
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  40. Full Information Accounts of Well-Being.David Sobel - 1994 - Ethics 104 (4):784-810.
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  41. The Problem of Unauthorized Welfare.Peter Vallentyne - 1991 - Noûs 25 (3):295-321.
    This problem has already been discussed by a number of authors.[i] Typically, however, authors take one of two extreme positions: they hold that all welfare should be taken at face value, or they hold that "suspect" welfare should be completely ignored. My contribution here is the following: First, I introduce the notion of unauthorized (suspect) welfare, of which welfare from meddlesome preferences, offensive tastes, expensive tastes, etc. are special cases. Second, I formulate four conditions of adequacy, applicable to any welfare-based (...)
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  42. Plato's Theory of Desire.Charles H. Kahn - 1987 - Review of Metaphysics 41 (1):77 - 103.
    My aim here is to make sense of Plato's account of desire in the middle dialogues. To do that I need to unify or reconcile what are at first sight two quite different accounts: the doctrine of eros in the Symposium and the tripartite theory of motivation in the Republic. It may be that the two theories are after all irreconcilable, that Plato simply changed his mind on the nature of human desire after writing the Symposium and before composing the (...)
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  43. Moral Realism.Peter Railton - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):163-207.
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