Taking Pleasure in the Good and Well-Being: the Harmless Pleasures Objection

Taking Pleasure in the Good and Well-Being: the Harmless Pleasures Objection Well-being is that which is non-instrumentally good for a person. It is identical to how well someone's life goes. There are three main theories of well-being: hedonism, desire-fulfillment, and objective list theories. Each of these theories is subject to criticism, which has led some philosophers to posit a hybrid theory in which well-being is defined as taking pleasure in objective goods. One problem that comes with such an account is the possibility of what I will call harmless pleasures; that is, pleasures that while not taken in something bad, are neither linked to objective goods. It is counterintuitive to say that such pleasures do not make a person's life go better, yet this seems to be what hybrid theories entail. I call this the harmless-pleasure objection. In this paper, I argue that there is no obvious solution to this objection and this result casts doubt on hybrid theories of well-being. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophia Springer Journals

Taking Pleasure in the Good and Well-Being: the Harmless Pleasures Objection

Philosophia , Volume 46 (2) – Sep 15, 2017
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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy, general; Epistemology; Ethics; Philosophy of Language; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy of Science
ISSN
0048-3893
eISSN
1574-9274
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11406-017-9903-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Well-being is that which is non-instrumentally good for a person. It is identical to how well someone's life goes. There are three main theories of well-being: hedonism, desire-fulfillment, and objective list theories. Each of these theories is subject to criticism, which has led some philosophers to posit a hybrid theory in which well-being is defined as taking pleasure in objective goods. One problem that comes with such an account is the possibility of what I will call harmless pleasures; that is, pleasures that while not taken in something bad, are neither linked to objective goods. It is counterintuitive to say that such pleasures do not make a person's life go better, yet this seems to be what hybrid theories entail. I call this the harmless-pleasure objection. In this paper, I argue that there is no obvious solution to this objection and this result casts doubt on hybrid theories of well-being.

Journal

PhilosophiaSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 15, 2017

References

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