Utilitarian Accounts: The Desire Account Developed

James Griffin

in Well-Being

Published in print December 1988 | ISBN: 9780198248439
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597558 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 Utilitarian Accounts: The Desire Account Developed

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This chapter, the second of two on utilitarian accounts of well‐being, seeks to identify the best development of the desire account. It argues that the ancient question, valuable because desired, or desired because valuable, should be answered, and there is no priority. The best form of the desire account is an informed‐desire account, in which the person is well informed about the desire. An informed desire is one formed in proper appreciation of the nature of the object of the desire. This high standard raises the question whether the desire account, fully developed, is still in accord with the utilitarian tradition.

Keywords: desire; informed desire; reason; utilitarianism; well‐being

Chapter.  7644 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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