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Title: Three Essays on Well-Being
Authors: Lin, Eden
Advisors: Rosen, Gideon A
Smith, Michael A
Contributors: Philosophy Department
Keywords: Good life
Humean theory of reasons
Normative reasons
Prudential value
Subjects: Philosophy
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation consists of three essays on the topic of welfare or well-being. The first essay, "Pluralism about Well-Being," concerns how many kinds of event are basically good or bad for a person--good or bad for her, but not solely in virtue of being appropriately related to other events that are good or bad for her. A monistic theory of welfare says that only one kind of event is basically good for a person, and that only one kind is basically bad for a person. I argue for pluralism, the view that there is either more than one basically good kind or more than one basically bad kind. The second essay, "Objectivism about Welfare," concerns the relationship between a person's attitudes and the events that are basically good or bad for her. Subjectivists claim that an event is basically good (bad) for a person only if and at least partly because she would have a certain kind of favorable attitude toward it under the right conditions. I argue for the negation of subjectivism, objectivism. (Since an objective list theory of well-being is a theory according to which both pluralism and objectivism are true, the first two essays amount to an argument that some objective list theory is true.) The last essay is entitled "Prudence, Morality, and the New Humeans," and it relates to well-being via its discussion of prudent actions (e.g., ones that would bring about an increase, or prevent a decrease, in the agent's welfare). The Humean Theory of Reasons says that there is a reason for an agent to perform a particular action only if her doing so would promote the satisfaction of one of her desires. This theory has traditionally been regarded as incompatible with Moral and Prudential Rationalism, which say that if an agent is morally required to perform a given action or it would be prudent for her to perform it, then there is some reason for her to perform it. However, some Humeans have recently denied this incompatibility. I argue that the incompatibility is genuine, even if we assume that the desire satisfaction theory of well-being is true.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Philosophy

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