Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics: Welfare Happiness & Ethics

Paperback | March 1, 1999

byL. W. Sumner

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Moral philosophers agree that welfare matters. But they do not agree about what it is, or how much it matters. Wayne Sumner presents an original theory of welfare, investigating its nature and discussing its importance. He considers and rejects all notable rival theories, both objective andsubjective, including hedonism and theories founded on desire or preference. His own theory connects welfare closely with happiness or life satisfaction. Professor Sumner then proceeds to defend welfarism, that is, to argue (against the value pluralism that currently dominates moral philosophy) that welfare is the only basic ethical value, the only thing which we have a moral reason to promote for its own sake. He concludes by discussing theimplications of this thesis for ethical and political theory.

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Moral philosophers agree that welfare matters. But they do not agree about what it is, or how much it matters. Wayne Sumner presents an original theory of welfare, investigating its nature and discussing its importance. He considers and rejects all notable rival theories, both objective andsubjective, including hedonism and theories fo...

Wayne Sumner is Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, where he has taught for more than thirty years.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:251 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inPublished:March 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198238789

ISBN - 13:9780198238782

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Table of Contents

1. The Concept of Welfare; 2. Welfare and Subjectivity; 3. Objective Theories; 4. Hedonism; 5. The Desire Theory; 6. Welfare and Happiness; 7. Welfarism; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

`a clear, careful and well-crafted investigation into major theories of welfare'Bruce Brower, University of Tulane, The Philosophical Review, vol 107, no 2, April 1998