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  1. Is Buddhism without rebirth ‘nihilism with a happy face’?Calvin Baker - forthcoming - Analysis.
    I argue against pessimistic readings of the Buddhist tradition on which unawakened beings invariably have lives not worth living due to a preponderance of suffering (duḥkha) over well-being.
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The Concept of Well-Being
  1. Combining Good and Bad.Christopher Frugé - forthcoming - In Mauro Rossi & Christine Tappolet (eds.), Perspectives on Ill-Being. Oxford University Press.
    How does good combine with bad? Most creatures are neither so blessed as to only enjoy good nor so cursed as to only suffer bad. Rather, the good and bad they receive throughout their lives combine to produce their overall quality of life. But it’s not just whole lives that have combined good and bad. Many stretches within contain both positive and negative occurrences whose value is joined to form the overall quality of that span of time. In a single (...)
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  2. The Good Life as the Life in Touch with the Good.Adam Lovett & Stefan Riedener - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    What makes your life go well for you? In this paper, we give an account of welfare. Our core idea is simple. There are impersonally good and bad things out there: things that are good or bad period, not (or not only) good or bad for someone. The life that is good for you is the life in contact with the good. We’ll understand the relevant notion of ‘contact’ here in terms of manifestation: you’re in contact with a value either (...)
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  3. The usefulness of well-being temporalism.Gil Hersch - 2022 - Journal of Economic Methodology 30 (4):322-336.
    It is an open question whether well-being ought to primarily be understood as a temporal concept or whether it only makes sense to talk about a person’s well-being over their whole lifetime. In this article, I argue that how this principled philosophical disagreement is settled does not have substantive practical implications for well-being science and well-being policy. Trying to measure lifetime well-being directly is extremely challenging as well as unhelpful for guiding well-being public policy, while temporal well-being is both an (...)
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  4. 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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  5. A new well‐being atomism.Gil Hersch & Daniel Weltman - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (1):3-23.
    Many philosophers reject the view that well-being over a lifetime is simply an aggregation of well-being at every moment of one's life, and thus they reject theories of well-being like hedonism and concurrentist desire satisfactionism. They raise concerns that such a view misses the importance of the relationships between moments in a person's life or the role narratives play in a person's well-being. In this article, we develop an atomist meta-theory of well-being, according to which the prudential value of a (...)
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  6. Grounds of Goodness.Jeremy David Fix - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (7):368-391.
    What explains why we are subjects for whom objects can have value, and what explains which objects have value for us? Axiologicians say that the value of humanity is the answer. I argue that our value, no matter what it is like, cannot perform this task. We are animals among others. An explanation of the value of objects for us must fit into an explanation of the value of objects for animals generally. Different objects have value for different animals. Those (...)
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  7. Aggregating Personal Value.Christopher Fruge - 2024 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 19.
    A person possesses value from various components of wellbeing, but they also have overall wellbeing from various instances of value taken together. Most ethicists assume that there is an objectively unique way that wellbeing from components aggregates into overall wellbeing. However, I argue that aggregation is subjective and varies depending on what sort of aggregation a person values. I end with some implications for the significance of death.
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  8. The Sum of Well-Being.Jacob M. Nebel - 2023 - Mind 132 (528):1074–1104.
    Is well-being the kind of thing that can be summed across individuals? This paper takes a measurement-theoretic approach to answering this question. To make sense of adding well-being, we would need to identify some natural "concatenation" operation on the bearers of well-being that satisfies the axioms of extensive measurement and can therefore be represented by the arithmetic operation of addition. I explore various proposals along these lines, involving the concatenation of segments within lives over time, of entire lives led alongside (...)
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  9. Well-Being and Meaning in Life.Matthew Hammerton - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (5):573-587.
    Many philosophers now see meaning in life as a key evaluative category that stands alongside well-being and moral goodness. Our lives are assessed not only by how well they go for us and how morally good they are, but also by their meaningfulness. In this article, I raise a challenge to this view. Theories of meaning in life closely resemble theories of well-being, and there is a suspicion that the former collapse into the latter. I develop this challenge showing that (...)
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  10. Structuring Wellbeing.Christopher Frugé - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (3):564-580.
    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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  11. 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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  12. A Plea for Prudence.James L. D. Brown - 2023 - Analysis 83 (2):394-404.
    Critical notice of Guy Fletcher's 'Dear Prudence: The Nature and Normativity of Prudential Discourse' and Dale Dorsey's 'A Theory of Prudence'.
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  13. The Value and Significance of Ill-Being.Christopher Woodard - 2022 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 46:1-19.
    Since Shelly Kagan pointed out the relative neglect of ill-being in philosophical discussions, several philosophers have contributed to an emerging literature on its constituents. In doing so, they have explored possible asymmetries between the constituents of ill-being and the constituents of positive well-being. This paper explores some possible asymmetries that may arise elsewhere in the philosophy of ill-being. In particular, it considers whether there is an asymmetry between the contribution made to prudential value by equal quantities of goods and bads. (...)
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  14. Value After Death.Christopher Frugé - 2022 - Ratio 35 (3):194-203.
    Does our life have value for us after we die? Despite the importance of such a question, many would find it absurd, even incoherent. Once we are dead, the thought goes, we are no longer around to have any wellbeing at all. However, in this paper I argue that this common thought is mistaken. In order to make sense of some of our most central normative thoughts and practices, we must hold that a person can have wellbeing after they die. (...)
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  15. A Simple Analysis of Harm.Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9:509-536.
    In this paper, we present and defend an analysis of harm that we call the Negative Influence on Well-Being Account (NIWA). We argue that NIWA has a number of significant advantages compared to its two main rivals, the Counterfactual Comparative Account (CCA) and the Causal Account (CA), and that it also helps explain why those views go wrong. In addition, we defend NIWA against a class of likely objections, and consider its implications for several questions about harm and its role (...)
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  16. A Capabilities-Based Account of Patient Welfare.Peter Koch - 2016 - Dissertation, Suny @ Buffalo
    The promotion of patient welfare is a central goal of medical professionals and serves as a fundamental principle of medical professionalism. Despite its importance, however, it is unclear what is meant by patient welfare. In my dissertation, I explore patient welfare by analyzing the ordinary notion of welfare and applying this analysis to the patient population. I argue that welfare is best understood and expressed in terms of capabilities, which I define using the structure and vocabulary of Basic Formal Ontology. (...)
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  17. Empirical Relationships Among Five Types of Well-Being.Seth Margolis, Eric Schwitzgebel, Daniel J. Ozer & Sonja Lyubomirsky - 2021 - In Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities. New York, NY, USA: pp. 339-376.
    Philosophers, psychologists, economists and other social scientists continue to debate the nature of human well-being. We argue that this debate centers around five main conceptualizations of well-being: hedonic well-being, life satisfaction, desire fulfillment, eudaimonia, and non-eudaimonic objective-list well-being. Each type of well-being is conceptually different, but are they empirically distinguishable? To address this question, we first developed and validated a measure of desire fulfillment, as no measure existed, and then examined associations between this new measure and several other well-being measures. (...)
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  18. Ben Bramble, The Passing of Temporal Well-Being[REVIEW]Daniel Weltman - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (6):670-673.
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  19. Mental Health Without Well-being.Sam Wren-Lewis & Anna Alexandrova - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (6):684-703.
    What is it to be mentally healthy? In the ongoing movement to promote mental health, to reduce stigma, and to establish parity between mental and physical health, there is a clear enthusiasm about this concept and a recognition of its value in human life. However, it is often unclear what mental health means in all these efforts and whether there is a single concept underlying them. Sometimes, the initiatives for the sake of mental health are aimed just at reducing mental (...)
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  20. Against ‘Good for’/‘Well-Being’, for ‘Simply Good’.Thomas Hurka - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4):803-22.
    This paper challenges the widely held view that ‘good for’, ‘well-being’, and related terms express a distinctive evaluative concept of central importance for ethics and separate from ‘simply good’ as used by G. E. Moore and others. More specifically, it argues that there's no philosophically useful good-for or well-being concept that's neither merely descriptive in the sense of naturalistic nor reducible to ‘simply good’. The paper distinguishes two interpretations of the common claim that the value ‘good for’ expresses is distinctively (...)
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  21. Review of Guy Fletcher’s Dear Prudence. [REVIEW]Christopher Frugé - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (4):505-509.
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  22. Life Worth Living (rev. edn).Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - In Filomena Maggino (ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, 2nd edn. Springer. pp. 1-4.
    An updated version of this encyclopedia entry on the concept of what, if anything, makes life worthwhile.
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  23. Permanent Value.Christopher Frugé - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (2):356-372.
    Temporal nihilism is the view that our lives won’t matter after we die. According to the standard interpretation, this is because our lives won’t make a permanent difference. Many who consider the view thus reject it by denying that our lives need to have an eternal impact. However, in this paper, I develop a different formulation of temporal nihilism revolving around the persistence of personal value itself. According to this stronger version, we do not have personal value after death, so (...)
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  24. Worker Well-Being: What It Is, and How It Should Be Measured.Indy Wijngaards, Owen C. King, Martijn J. Burger & Job van Exel - 2022 - Applied Research in Quality of Life 17:795-832.
    Worker well-being is a hot topic in organizations, consultancy and academia. However, too often, the buzz about worker well-being, enthusiasm for new programs to promote it and interest to research it, have not been accompanied by universal enthusiasm for scientific measurement. Aim to bridge this gap, we address three questions. To address the question ‘What is worker well-being?’, we explain that worker well-being is a multi-facetted concept and that it can be operationalized in a variety of constructs. We propose a (...)
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  25. How to study well-being: A proposal for the integration of philosophy with science.Michael Prinzing - 2021 - Review of General Psychology 25 (2):152-162.
    There are presently two approaches to the study of well-being. Philosophers typically focus on normative theorizing, attempting to identify the things that are ultimately good for a person, while largely ignoring empirical research. The idea is that empirical attention cannot be directed to the right place without a rigorous theory. Meanwhile, social scientists typically focus on empirical research, attempting to identify the causes and consequences of well-being, while largely ignoring normative theorizing. The idea is that conceptual and theoretical clarity will (...)
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  26. A Defense of Temporal Well-Being.Ben Bradley - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (1):117-123.
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  27. Well-Being as Harmony.Hasko von Kriegstein - 2020 - In David Kaspar (ed.), Explorations in Ethics. Palgrave-Macmillan. 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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  28. Well-being and Pluralism.Polly Mitchell & Anna Alexandrova - forthcoming - Journal of Happiness Studies.
    It is a commonly expressed sentiment that the science and philosophy of well-being would do well to learn from each other. Typically such calls identify mistakes and bad practices on both sides that would be remedied if scientists picked the right bit of philosophy and philosophers picked the right bit of science. We argue that the differences between philosophers and scientists thinking about well-being are more difficult to reconcile than such calls suggest, and that pluralism is central to this task. (...)
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  29. 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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  30. Well-Being Coherentism.Gil Hersch - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (4):1045-1065.
    Philosophers of well-being have tended to adopt a foundationalist approach to the question of theory and measurement, according to which theories are conceptually before measures. By contrast, social scientists have tended to adopt operationalist commitments, according to which they develop and refine well-being measures independently of any philosophical foundation. Unfortunately, neither approach helps us overcome the problem of coordinating between how we characterize well-being and how we measure it. Instead, we should adopt a coherentist approach to well-being science.
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  31. 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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  32. A Defense of Free-Roaming Cats from a Hedonist Account of Feline Well-being.C. E. Abbate - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (3):439-461.
    There is a widespread belief that for their own safety and for the protection of wildlife, cats should be permanently kept indoors. Against this view, I argue that cat guardians have a duty to provide their feline companions with outdoor access. The argument is based on a sophisticated hedonistic account of animal well-being that acknowledges that the performance of species-normal ethological behavior is especially pleasurable. Territorial behavior, which requires outdoor access, is a feline-normal ethological behavior, so when a cat is (...)
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  33. Diversity of Meaning and the Value of a Concept: Comments on Anna Alexandrova's A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being.Jennifer Hawkins - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (4):529-535.
    In her impressive book, looking at the philosophy and science of well-being, Anna Alexandrova argues for the strong claim that we possess no stable, unified concept of well-being. Instead, she thinks the word “well-being” only comes to have a specific meaning in particular contexts, and has a quite different meaning in different contexts. I take issue with (1) her claim that we do not possess a unified, all-things-considered concept of well-being as well as with (2) her failure to consider why (...)
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  34. Is Motivation Internal to Value?J. David Velleman - 1998 - In Christoph Fehige & Ulla Wessels (eds.), Preferences. New York: W. 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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  35. 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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  36. Pulling Apart Well-Being at a Time and the Goodness of a Life.Owen C. King - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:349-370.
    This article argues that a person’s well-being at a time and the goodness of her life are two distinct values. It is commonly accepted as platitudinous that well-being is what makes a life good for the person who lives it. Even philosophers who distinguish between well-being at a time and the goodness of a life still typically assume that increasing a person’s well-being at some particular moment, all else equal, necessarily improves her life on the whole. I develop a precise (...)
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  37. A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being.Anna Alexandrova - 2017 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Do the new sciences of well-being provide knowledge that respects the nature of well-being? This book written from the perspective of philosophy of science articulates how this field can speak to well-being proper and can do so in a way that respects the demands of objectivity and measurement.
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  38. Ways to Be Worse Off.Ian Stoner - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (4):921-949.
    Does disability make a person worse off? I argue that the best answer is yes AND no, because we can be worse off in two conceptually distinct ways. Disabilities usually make us worse off in one way (typified by facing hassles) but not in the other (typified by facing loneliness). Acknowledging two conceptually distinct ways to be worse off has fundamental implications for philosophical theories of well-being. (This paper won the APA’s Routledge, Taylor & Francis Prize in 2017.).
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  39. What Is Goodness Good For?Christian Piller - 2015 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies Normative Ethics: Volume 4. pp. 179-209.
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  40. Flourishing Dogs: The Case for an Individualized Conception of Welfare and Its Implications.Sofia Jeppsson - 2016 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29 (3):425-438.
    Martha Nussbaum argues that animals are entitled to a flourishing life according to the norm for their species. Nussbaum furthermore suggests that in the case of dogs, breed norms as well as species norms are relevant. Her theses capture both common intuitions among laypeople according to which there is something wrong with the breeding of “unnatural” animals, or animals that are too different from their wild ancestors, and the dog enthusiast’s belief that dogs departing from the norms for their breed (...)
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  41. Toni Rønnow‐Rasmussen, Personal Value, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011, 185 pp., US$ 75 , ISBN 9780199603787. [REVIEW]Olivier Massin - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (2):221-231.
    Personal Values is a delightful and enlightening read. It is teeming with novel insights, ground-breaking distinctions, rich examples, new delineations of the field, refreshing historical reminders, inventive arguments, unprecedented connections, identifications of neglected difficulties, and pioneering proposals. I shall focus here on three of these insights, which are illustrative of the pervasive scrupulousness and inventiveness of the book. The first is that there is a distinction between the supervenience base of values and their constitutive grounds. The second is that FA (...)
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  42. The Elements of Well-Being.Brad Hooker - 2015 - Journal of Practical Ethics 3 (1):15-35.
    This essay contends that the constitutive elements of well-being are plural, partly objective, and separable. The essay argues that these elements are pleasure, friendship, significant achievement, important knowledge, and autonomy, but not either the appreciation of beauty or the living of a morally good life. The essay goes on to attack the view that elements of well-being must be combined in order for well-being to be enhanced. The final section argues against the view that, because anything important to say about (...)
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  43. Medicine & Well-Being.Daniel Groll - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    The connections between medicine and well-being are myriad. This paper focuses on the place of well-being in clinical medicine. It is here that different views of well-being, and their connection to concepts like “autonomy” and “authenticity”, both illuminate and are illuminated by looking closely at the kinds of interactions that routinely take place between clinicians, patients, and family members. -/- In the first part of the paper, I explore the place of well-being in a paradigmatic clinical encounter, one where a (...)
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  44. 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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  45. Harm.Michael Rabenberg - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (3):1-32.
    In recent years, philosophers have proposed a variety of accounts of the nature of harm. In this paper, I consider several of these accounts and argue that they are unsuccessful. I then make a modest case for a different view.
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  46. Meaning as a Distinct and Fundamental Value: Reply to Kershnar.Thaddeus Metz - 2014 - Science, Religion and Culture 1 (2):101-106.
    In this article, I reply to a critical notice of my book, Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study, that Stephen Kershnar has published elsewhere in this issue of Science, Religion & Culture. Beyond expounding the central conclusions of the book, Kershnar advances two major criticisms of it, namely, first, that I did not provide enough evidence that meaning in life is a genuine value-theoretic category as something distinct from and competing with, say, objective well-being, and, second, that, even if there (...)
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  47. Good and Good For.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2010 - In Desire, Practical Reason, and the Good. Oxford University Press.
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  48. What Is This Thing Called Well-Being.Richard Kim - manuscript
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  49. The Locative Analysis of Good For Formulated and Defended.Guy Fletcher - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (JESP) 6 (1):1-27.
    THE STRUCTURE OF THIS PAPER IS AS FOLLOWS. I begin §1 by dealing with preliminary issues such as the different relations expressed by the “good for” locution. I then (§2) outline the Locative Analysis of good for and explain its main elements before moving on to (§3) outlining and discussing the positive features of the view. In the subsequent sections I show how the Locative Analysis can respond to objections from, or inspired by, Sumner (§4-5), Regan (§6), and Schroeder and (...)
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1 — 50 / 496