Value, Desire, and Quality of Life

Thomas Scanlon

in The Quality of Life

Published in print March 1993 | ISBN: 9780198287971
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596704 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

 Value, Desire, and Quality of Life

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Scanlon questions the adequacy of desire as a measure of quality of life, arguing instead, for exploring an approach based on a critical scrutiny of a substantive list of elements that make human life valuable. The aim, according to Scanlon, is to develop a set of goods and bads which all human beings, insofar as there is an attempt to find a common vocabulary of justification, have reason to accept as covering the most important ways in which life can be made better or worse.

Keywords: desire theory; objectivity; Derek Parfit; preferences; reasonable agreement; universality; utilitarianism

Chapter.  8722 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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