Well-being and subject dependence

Authored by: Alicia Hall , Valerie Tiberius

The Routledge Handbook Of Philosophy Of Well-Being

Print publication date:  August  2015
Online publication date:  July  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415714532
eBook ISBN: 9781315682266
Adobe ISBN: 9781317402657


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Prudential value is commonly thought to be distinct from other types of value by virtue of its special relationship to individual subjects. Well-being has to do with how people’s lives are going for them, rather than with how their lives are going from the moral point of view, say. In other words, well-being is, as L.W. Sumner puts it, subject-relative. Sumner argues that this subject-relativity is a central part of our ordinary concept of well-being, which any plausible account of well-being must be able to accommodate. Theories of well-being need to explain why a putative contributor to well-being is good for the individual whose well-being it is (Sumner 1996: 20).

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