A new well‐being atomism

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (1):3-23 (2022)
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Abstract

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 life depends solely on the prudential value of each moment of that life. This is a general account of momentary well-being that can capture different features of well-being that standard atomistic accounts fail to capture, thus allowing for the possibility of an atomism that is compatible with a variety of well-being theories. Contrary to many criticisms leveled against momentary well-being, this well-being atomism captures all of the important features of well-being.

Author Profiles

Gil Hersch
Virginia Tech
Daniel Weltman
Ashoka University

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