What Does the Shape of a Life Tell Us About Its Value?

What Does the Shape of a Life Tell Us About Its Value? J Value Inquiry (2017) 51:563–575 DOI 10.1007/s10790-017-9594-9 Christine Vitrano Published online: 21 March 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017 In a recent article in Ethics, Dale Dorsey examines the ‘‘shape of a life hypothesis’’ to see what it implies about the prudential value of a life. As Dorsey defines the shape of a life hypothesis, ‘‘lives are better when they have an upward, rather than downward, slope in terms of momentary well-being.’’ Although Dorsey’s primary aim is to show the only plausible reading of the shape of a life hypothesis does not undermine temporal neutrality or intralife aggregation, he also concludes that the shape of one’s life does tell us something significant about a person’s well-being. The literature on the shape of a life hypothesis is divided over the question of why shape matters. Hedonists provide the most simple, straightforward answer: upward sloping lives are better, because we care about the trajectory of our lives, and are made happier (or experience more pleasure) when our lives get better rather than worse. The hedonist’s response, however, implies that uphill and downhill lives are not hedonically equal, for a person’s awareness of the trajectory her life is taking influences her happiness http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Value Inquiry Springer Journals

What Does the Shape of a Life Tell Us About Its Value?

Loading next page...
Springer Netherlands
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Philosophy; Ontology; Ethics; International Political Economy; Public International Law; Philosophy, general
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial