The philosophical study of well-being concerns what makes lives good for their subjects. It is now standard among philosophers to distinguish between two kinds of well-being:
· lifetime well-being, i.e., how good a person’s life was for him or her considered as a whole, and
· temporal well-being, i.e., how well off someone was, or how they fared, at a particular moment in time (momentary well-being) or over a period of time longer than a moment but shorter than a whole life, say, a day, month, year, or chapter of a life (periodic well-being).
Many theories have been offered of each of these kinds of well-being. A common view is that lifetime well-being is in some way constructed out of temporal well-being. This book argues that much of this literature is premised on a mistake. Lifetime well-being cannot be constructed out of temporal well-being, because there is no such thing as temporal well-being. The only genuine kind of well-being is lifetime well-being.
The Passing of Temporal Well-Being will prove essential reading for professional philosophers, especially in moral and political philosophy. It will also be of interest to welfare economists and policy-makers who appeal to well-being
Table of Contents
- The Normative Significance Argument
- The No Credible Theory Argument
- Six Objections
- Conclusion and Implications
1.1. The Thesis
1.2. My Target
2.1. The Argument
2.2. Seven Arguments for SSLW
2.3. Seven Objections to SSLW
2.4. An Objection to SNOG
2.5 The Composition Objection
3.1. The Argument
3.3. Objective-List Theories
3.4. Desire-Based Theories
4.1 The Construction Objection
4.2 The Value For Us of Events Objection
4.3 The Meaningless Concept Objection
4.4 The Ubiquity Objection
4.5 The Vindication Objection
4.6 A Life Worth Living
Ben Bramble is Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
"Lively, original and highly readable. Bramble makes a compelling case for the radical conclusion that there is no such thing as temporal well-being."
Guy Fletcher, University of Edinburgh, UK.
"Nearly everyone accepts that well-being is of central importance. But should we care about how well our lives go, how well certain periods of our lives go, or how well off we are at a particular time? Bramble provides fascinating and engaging arguments for the view that we should speak only of the well-being of our lives as a whole. Anyone interested in the philosophy of well-being must read and learn from this book."
Professor Roger Crisp, University of Oxford, UK
"Ben Bramble is an important up-and-coming figure in well-being studies. In this brief and clearly-written book, he takes aim at the notion of temporal well-being. His arguments raise foundational issues that defenders of the philosophical orthodoxy will need to grapple with."
Ben Bradley, University of Syracuse, USA
"In my view, the most interesting, most fun work in philosophy presents powerful arguments for surprising conclusions. Bramble’s book should be regarded as a member of that proud tradition. Anyone interested in well-being, prudence, and the good will profit from a close study of The Passing of Temporal Well-Being."
Dale Dorsey, University of Kansas, USA