The Nature of Diachronic Welfare: A Defense of the Redemption Thesis

CHUL HAK SA SANG - Journal of Philosophical Ideas 85 (85):63-89 (2022)
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The redemption thesis assumes that how events in a person’s life are related to one another is important in evaluating the person’s welfare throughout life. In particular, according to this thesis of welfare, the fact that a person’s previous hardships contribute to bringing out the same person’s later successes, and the person would regard the hardships as having been worthwhile in light of the successes makes the person’s life better for the person herself. Recently, Ian D. Dunkle provided four objections to the redemption thesis: the intuition concern, the different redemptions argument, the downplaying hardships argument, and the reconciled irreconcilables argument. This paper examines these four objections. In particular, this paper dismisses all the objections showing that the redemption thesis bases on an appealing idea, does not consider the degree of hardship significant in itself, has plausible reasons to evaluate hardships not as serious as people think, and can successfully reconcile its synchronic and diachronic evaluations.

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Dong-yong Choi
Yonsei University


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