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  1. AI Wellbeing.Simon Goldstein & Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini - manuscript
    Under what conditions would an artificially intelligent system have wellbeing? Despite its obvious bearing on the ethics of human interactions with artificial systems, this question has received little attention. Because all major theories of wellbeing hold that an individual’s welfare level is partially determined by their mental life, we begin by considering whether artificial systems have mental states. We show that a wide range of theories of mental states, when combined with leading theories of wellbeing, predict that certain existing artificial (...)
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  2. Well-being is Survival.Bach Ho - manuscript
    This paper defends the view that intrinsic benefit to a human being consists exclusively in survival. It takes as its point of departure the neo-Aristotelian view that inquiry into intrinsic benefit to a human being should take place within a wider theory of intrinsic benefit to living things, generally. The paper first argues that the neo-Aristotelian view that intrinsic benefit to a living thing consists in flourishing as a member of its species, is mistaken. Rather, intrinsic benefit to a living (...)
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  3. Taking the Morality Out of Happiness.Markus Kneer & Dan Haybron - manuscript
    In an important and widely discussed series of studies, Jonathan Phillips and colleagues have suggested that the ordinary concept of happiness has a substantial moral component. For in- stance, two persons who enjoy the same extent of positive emotions and are equally satisfied with their lives are judged as happy to different degrees if one is less moral than the other. Considering that the relation between morality and happiness or self-interest has been one of the central questions of moral philosophy (...)
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  4. Failure.Gwen Bradford - forthcoming - In Mauro Rossi & Christine Tappolet (eds.), Perspectives on Ill-Being. Oxford University Press.
    In Achievement, I suggest that failures can be just as good as achievements. Achievements are valuable because of their effort and competence, and some failures have these features too, and are therefore valuable for the same reasons. While that may be true, surely it’s also true that failures are, or can be, genuinely bad – not merely a privation of the good of achievement, but themselves intrinsically bad. As is the case for many bads, it is surprisingly difficult to give (...)
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  5. Telic Perfectionism and the Badness of Pain.Antti Kauppinen - forthcoming - In Mauro Rossi & Christine Tappolet (eds.), Perspectives on Ill-Being. Oxford University Press.
    Why is unpleasant pain bad for us? Evidently because of how it feels. This bit of commonsense is a challenge for well-being perfectionism, since pain doesn’t look anything like failure to fulfill human nature. Here, I sketch a new version of perfectionism that avoids this problem. To explain what is basically good for us, it appeals to the capacities whose functioning defines who we are, or our subjective nature, instead of human nature. I argue that these capacities have a telic (...)
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  6. Mutual Recognition and Well-Being: What Is It for Relational Selves to Thrive?Arto Laitinen - forthcoming - In Onni Hirvonen & Heikki J. Koskinen (eds.), Theory and Practice of Recognition. New York, London: pp. ch 3..
    This paper argues that relations of mutual recognition (love, respect, esteem, trust) contribute directly and non-reductively to our flourishing as relational selves. -/- Love is important for the quality of human life. Not only do everyday experiences and analyses of pop culture and world literature attest to this; scientific research does as well. How exactly does love contribute to well-being? This chapter discusses the suggestion that it not only matters for the experiential quality of life, or for successful agency, but (...)
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  7. Devotion and Well-Being: A Platonic Personalist Perfectionist Account.Philip Woodward - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-21.
    According to the traditional Christian understanding, being devoted to God is partly constitutive of human welfare. I explicate this tradition view, in three stages. First, I sketch a general theory of well-being which I call ‘Platonic Personalist Perfectionism.’ Second, I show how being devoted to God is uniquely perfective. I discuss three different components of the posture of devotion: abnegation (surrender of one’s will to God), adoration (responding to God’s goodness with attention, love and praise), and existential dependence (receiving one’s (...)
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  8. Being Sure and Living Well: How Security Affects Human Flourishing.J. A. M. Daemen - 2024 - Journal of Value Inquiry 58 (1):93-110.
    This paper analyses how security affects well-being. Security is understood as someone’s sureness of enjoying some good in the future; well-being is treated as a matter of human flourishing. Security can contribute to our well-being in various ways: if we are in fact bound to enjoy a good, in principle this is positive for our flourishing in the future; if we also believe that we will enjoy this good, we can be more efficient in pursuing our well-being; if we also (...)
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  9. Alienation, Resonance, and Experience in Theories of Well-Being.Andrew Alwood - 2023 - Philosophia 51 (4):2225-2240.
    Each person has a special relation to his or her own well-being. This rough thought, which can be sharpened in different ways, is supposed to substantially count against objectivist theories on which one can intrinsically benefit from, or be harmed by, factors that are independent of one’s desires, beliefs, and other attitudes. It is often claimed, contra objectivism, that one cannot be _alienated_ from one’s own interests, or that improvements in a person’s well-being must _resonate_ with that person. However, I (...)
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  10. A Painful End for Perfectionism?Guy Fletcher - 2022 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 46:233-250.
    This paper examines perfectionist attempts to explain the prudential badness of pain (its badness for those who experience it). It starts by considering simple perfectionist explanations, finding them wanting, before considering the most sophisticated perfectionist attempt to explain prudential badness: Gwen Bradford’s tripartite perfectionism. The paper argues that Bradford’s view, though an improvement on earlier perfectionist proposals, still does not satisfactorily explain the full set of prudentially bad pains. It ends by showing how this provides grounds for a general kind (...)
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  11. Perfectionism and Dignity.Pablo Gilabert - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):259-278.
    Perfectionism about well-being is, at a minimum, the view that people’s lives go well when, and because they realize their capacities. It is common to link perfectionism with an idea of human essence or nature, to yield the view that what constitutes people’s well-being is the development and exercise of characteristically human capacities. The first part of this paper considers the very serious problems associated with the idea of human nature or essence, and argues that perfectionism would be more plausible (...)
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  12. Epistemic Welfare Bads and Other Failures of Reason.Antti Kauppinen - 2022 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 46:251-279.
    Very plausibly, there is something important missing in our lives if we are thoroughly ignorant or misled about reality – even if, as in a kind of Truman Show scenario, intervention or fantastic luck prevents unhappiness and practical failure. But why? I argue that perfectionism about well-being offers the most promising explanation. My version says, roughly, that we flourish when we exercise our self-defining capacities successfully according to their constitutive standards. One of these self-defining capacities, or capacities whose exercise reveals (...)
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  13. Subjective Theories of Ill-Being.Anthony Kelley - 2022 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 46:109-135.
    According to subjectivism about ill-being, the token states of affairs that are basically bad for you must be suitably connected, under the proper conditions, to your negative attitudes. This article explores the prospects for this family of theories and addresses some of its challenges. This article (i) shows that subjectivism about ill-being can be derived from a more general doctrine that requires a negatively valenced relationship between any welfare subject and the token states that are of basic harm to that (...)
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  14. Alienation, Freedom, and Dignity.Pablo Gilabert - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (2):51-80.
    The topic of alienation has fallen out of fashion in social and political philosophy. It used to be salient, especially in socialist thought and in debates about labor practices in capitalism. Although the lack of identification of people with their working lives—their alienation as workers—remains practically important, normative engagement with it has been set back by at least four objections. They concern the problems of essentialist views, a mishandling of the distinction between the good and the right, the danger of (...)
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  15. Prudence, Sunk Costs, and the Temporally Extended Self.Antti Kauppinen - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (6):658-681.
    Many find it reasonable to take our past actions into account when making choices for the future. In this paper, I address two important issues regarding taking past investments into account in prudential deliberation. The first is the charge that doing so commits the fallacy of honoring sunk costs. I argue that while it is indeed irrational to care about sunk costs, past investments are not sunk costs when we can change their teleological significance, roughly their contribution to our excellence (...)
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  16. Explanatory perfectionism: A fresh take on an ancient theory.Michael Prinzing - 2020 - Analysis (4):704-712.
    The ‘Big 3’ theories of well-being—hedonism, desire-satisfactionism, and objective list theory—attempt to explain why certain things are good for people by appealing to prudentially good-making properties. But they don’t attempt to explain why the properties they advert to make something good for a person. Perfectionism, the view that well-being consists in nature-fulfilment, is often considered a competitor to these views (or else a version of the objective list theory). However, I argue that perfectionism is best understood as explaining why certain (...)
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  17. Jak pogodzić perfekcjonizm i eudajmonizm z hedonizmem? Wokół utylitaryzmu J. S. Milla.Elżbieta Filipow - 2016 - Hybris. Internetowy Magazyn Filozoficzny 35 (4B):1-18.
    J. S. Mill is commonly considered as a representative of psychological hedonism. However, his utilitarianism has also eudaimonic and perfectionistic aspects. Thus, various aspects are interelated with one another not only in his moral philosophy, but are present also in his political philosophy. Interpretators of Mill’s philosophy inquire: how those aspects can be reconciled and if Mill's conception can be consistent then? Main aim of the paper is to explain and justify the view, that the idea of happiness by J. (...)
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  18. Leibniz's Passionate Knowledge.Markku Roinila - 2016 - Blityri (1/2 2015):75-85.
    In §18 of Principles of Nature and Grace, Based on Reason, Leibniz says: ”Thus our happiness will never consist, and must never consist, in complete joy, in which nothing is left to desire, and which would dull our mind, but must consist in a perpetual progress to new pleasures and new perfections.” -/- This passage is typical in Leibniz’s Nachlass. Universal perfection creates in us joy or pleasure of the mind and its source is our creator, God. When this joy (...)
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  19. The Battle of the Endeavors: Dynamics of the Mind and Deliberation in New Essays on Human Understanding, book II, xx-xxi.Markku Roinila - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), “Für unser Glück oder das Glück anderer”. Vorträge des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, Hannover, 18. – 23. Juli 2016. G. Olms. pp. Band V, 73-87.
    In New Essays on Human Understanding, book II, chapter xxi Leibniz presents an interesting picture of the human mind as not only populated by perceptions, volitions and appetitions, but also by endeavours. The endeavours in question can be divided to entelechy and effort; Leibniz calls entelechy as primitive active forces and efforts as derivative forces. The entelechy, understood as primitive active force is to be equated with a substantial form, as Leibniz says: “When an entelechy – i.e. a primary or (...)
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  20. Is There a Role for ‘Human Nature’ in Debates About Human Enhancement?Daniel Groll & Micah Lott - 2015 - Philosophy 90 (4):623-651.
    In discussions about the ethics of enhancement, it is often claimed that the concept of ‘human nature’ has no helpful role to play. There are two ideas behind this thought. The first is that nature, human nature included, is a mixed bag. Some parts of our nature are good for us and some are bad for us. The ‘mixed bag’ idea leads naturally to the second idea, namely that the fact that something is part of our nature is, by itself, (...)
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  21. Replik till Lisa Furberg: ‘Feminism, perfektionism och surrogatmoderskap’.Simon Rosenqvist - 2015 - Tidskrift För Politisk Filosofi 19 (2):44-51.
    Lisa Furberg har argumenterat för att altruistiskt surrogatmödraskap kan anses moraliskt problematiskt utifrån en perfektionistisk teori om det goda livet. I följande svar riktar jag ett antal invändningar mot Furbergs resonemang.
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  22. Classifying theories of welfare.Christopher Woodard - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):787-803.
    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 (...)
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  23. Pleasure as Self-Discovery.Samuel Clark - 2012 - Ratio 25 (3):260-276.
    This paper uses readings of two classic autobiographies, Edmund Gosse's Father & Son and John Stuart Mill's Autobiography, to develop a distinctive answer to an old and central question in value theory: What role is played by pleasure in the most successful human life? A first section defends my method. The main body of the paper then defines and rejects voluntarist, stoic, and developmental hedonist lessons to be taken from central crises in my two subjects' autobiographies, and argues for a (...)
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  24. 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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  25. The Reward of Virtue: An Essay on the Relationship Between Character and Well-Being.Ian Stoner - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Minnesota
    Most work in neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics begins by supposing that the virtues are the traits of character that make us good people. Secondary questions, then, include whether, why, and in what ways the virtues are good for the people who have them. This essay is an argument that the neo-Aristotelian approach is upside down. If, instead, we begin by asking what collection of character traits are good for us---that is, what collection of traits are most likely to promote our own (...)
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  26. Love, Poetry, and the Good Life: Mill's Autobiography and Perfectionist Ethics.Samuel Clark - 2010 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (6):565-578.
    I argue for a perfectionist reading of Mill’s account of the good life, by using the failures of development recorded in his Autobiography as a way to understand his official account of happiness in Utilitarianism. This work offers both a new perspective on Mill’s thought, and a distinctive account of the role of aesthetic and emotional capacities in the most choiceworthy human life. I consider the philosophical purposes of autobiography, Mill’s disagreements with Bentham, and the nature of competent judges and (...)
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  27. The Limits of the Explanatory Power of Developmentalism.David Sobel - 2010 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (4):517-527.
    Richard Kraut's neo-Aristotelian account of well-being, Developmentalism, aspires to explain not only which things are good for us but why those things are good for us. The key move in attempting to make good on this second aspiration involves his claim that our ordinary intuitions about what is good for a person can be successfully explained and systematized by the idea that what benefi ts a living thing develops properly that living thing's potentialities, capacities, and faculties. I argue that Kraut's (...)
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  28. Aristotle vs Theognis.George Couvalis - 2009 - In Michael Tsianikas (ed.), Greek Research in Australia. Department of Modern Greek, Flinders University. pp. 1-8.
    Aristotle argues that provided we have moderate luck, we can attain eudaimonia through our own effort. He claims that it is crucial to attaining eudaimonia that we aim at an overall target in our lives to which all our actions are directed. He also claims that the proper target of a eudaimon human life is virtuous activity, which is a result of effort not chance. He criticises Theognis for saying that the most pleasant thing is to chance on love, arguing (...)
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  29. Review of Richard Kraut’s What is Good And Why: The Ethics of Well-Being. [REVIEW]Guy Fletcher - 2009 - Analysis 69 (3):576-8.
    Anyone familiar with Richard Kraut's work in ancient philosophy will be excited to see him putting aside the dusty tomes of the ancients and delving into ethics first-hand. He does not disappoint. His book is a lucid and wide-ranging discussion that provides at least the core of an ethical theory and an appealing set of answers to a range of ethical questions.Kraut aims to provide an alternative to utilitarianism that preserves the good-centred nature of that theory. He claims that all (...)
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  30. Subjectivism and idealization.David Sobel - 2009 - Ethics 119 (2):336-352.
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  31. Mill’s Perfectionism.Piergiorgio Donatelli - 2006 - Prolegomena 5 (2):149-164.
    J. S. Mill lays great emphasis on the importance of the notion of the individual as a progressive being. The idea that we need to conceive the self as an object of cultivation and perfection runs through Mill’s writings on various topics, and has played a certain role in recent interpretations. In this paper I propose a specific interpretation of Mill’s understanding of the self, along the lines of what Stanley Cavell identifies as a “perfectionist” concern for the self. Various (...)
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  32. Deliberation and self-improvement in Leibniz.Markku Roinila - 2006 - In Breger Herbert, Hernst Jürgen & Erdner Sven (eds.), Einheit in der Vielheit, VIII. Internationaler Leibniz-Kongress, Hannover 2006, Vorträge 2. Teil, pp. 856-63.
    Human deliberation is a complicated and a difficult process. When forming moral judgement, various reasons inclinate the agent without necessitating him or her and the final result is more or less a compromise between these different spurs for action. Choosing right requires clear mind, good habits and strength of will. However, by a kind of self-manipulation moral development is possible. In my presentation, I shall discuss the forming of moral judgement in the intellect, consider the role of the passions in (...)
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