Aiming at Well‐Being

John Kekes

in The Human Condition

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199588886
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191595448 | DOI:
Aiming at Well‐Being

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This chapter is about the correction of mistaken conceptions of well‐being. Assuming that the commitments that form the content of a conception of well‐being are mistake‐free, the conception could still be mistaken by being incoherent, because the commitments may conflict. The way to avoid such conflicts is to distinguish between conditional and unconditional commitments and rank them in an order of importance for a particular conception of well‐being. Coherence, however, is not enough, because the wrong importance may be attributed to both conditional and unconditional commitments. The right ordering of commitments cannot be done by constructing a narrative account of how the agent came to form them. A realistic account of them is needed that appeals to an external standard for judging the importance attributed to the commitments. This standard is the prevailing system of values in the agent's society.

Keywords: conflicts; coherence; realism; external standard; system of values; importance; narratives; judgment

Chapter.  7106 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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