Over 4000 free audio and video lectures, seminars and teaching resources from Oxford University.
Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Thank you for visiting! Please consider filling out our questionnaire. This will help us improve our service providing free educational media recorded from the University of Oxford. Many thanks!

Click here to access the survey (3 minutes to complete).

Well-being in a Flux

Loading Video...
Duration: 0:28:41 | Added: 25 Jul 2013
Standard forms of desire-based theories of well-being claim that what is better for you is what you prefer. But how shall we decide whether one life is better for you than another when your preferences change across these lives?

Standard forms of desire-based theories of well-being claim that what is better for you is what you prefer. But how shall we decide whether one life is better for you than another when your preferences change across these lives? Perhaps you will prefer a life as a parent to a childless life,if you become a parent, but prefer a childless life to a life as a parent, if you remain childless. Which preferences should determine the comparative well-being of the two lives? In my talk, I shall argue that an innocent-looking answer to this question will generate an inconsistency. I shall also show that this negative result applies to many of the happiness theories of well-being that have become popular in recent years. Finally, I shall argue that the solution is to deny that what is better for you is what you prefer but maintain that what is good for you is what you favour and what is bad for you is what you disfavour.

People:
Oxford Unit:
Copy and paste this HTML snippet to embed the audio or video on your site: