Assessing Lives
Lemos (Noah)
Source: Luper - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death, 2014, Chapter 6
Paper - Abstract

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Editor’s Introduction1

  1. Chapter 6, the first chapter in the second part of the book, clarifies how lives may be assessed. What makes one life better than another? According to Noah Lemos, the judgment that a life is good might mean that it is choice-worthy because it is high in various values, such as moral goodness, or welfare.
  2. However, Lemos limits his investigation to what makes a life high in welfare. He discusses the three leading accounts of welfare (noting that one or other might also turn out to be relevant to the moral goodness of a life):
    1. preferentism (or the desire satisfaction theory), which says roughly that you are well-off to the extent that you satisfy your desires;
    2. hedonism, which says that only your states of pleasure and displeasure determine your level of welfare; and
    3. the objective list view, which says that various things are good or bad for you regard less of whether you want them and no matter whether you enjoy them.
  3. All three views come in competing versions and face difficulties. In particular, on the objective list view it is difficult to compare the value of one good as against another, and to assess the relative contributions of different goods to welfare.


Book Chapter, but pdf downloaded from Cambridge Core. Filed in zip with full book.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Luper (Steven) - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death: Introduction".

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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