Welfare, Meaning, and Worth

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Routledge, 2018 - Ethics - 160 pages

Welfare, Meaning, and Worth argues that there is more to what makes a life worth living than welfare, and that a good life does not consist of what is merely good for the one who lives it. Smuts defends an objective list theory that states that the notion of worth captures matters of importance for which no plausible theory of welfare can account. He puts forth that lives worth living are net high in various objective goods, including pleasure, meaning, knowledge, and loving relationships. The first part of the book presents a theory of worth, a mental statist account of welfare, and an objectivist theory of meaning. The second part explores the implications for moral theory, the popularity of painful art, and the viability of pessimism about the human condition. This book offers an original exploration of worth as a combination of welfare and meaning that will be of interest to philosophers and ethicists who work on issues in well-being and positive psychology.

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About the author (2018)

Aaron Smuts is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rhode Island College, USA. He is the author of Philosophy of Film: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, forthcoming).

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