WoW 2024 – Workshop on Welfare and Ethics

June 27, 2024 - June 28, 2024
Universität des Saarlandes

Graduate Center (Building C 9.3)
Saarbrücken 66123

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  • UdS Professorship for Practical Philosophy
  • German Society for Analytic Philosophy (GAP e.V.)


University of Oxford
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Oxford University
Universität des Saarlandes
University College London
University of Oxford
National University of Singapore
University of St. Andrews
London School of Economics


Universität des Saarlandes
Universität des Saarlandes
Universität des Saarlandes

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Considerations about welfare, the value of welfare, its distribution, or welfare-based claims and complaints are central to moral philosophy. They are of particular concern for all philosophers who take welfare to be (at least) one source for normative reasons. Evaluative and deontic considerations about welfare provide an array of fascinating philosophical questions.

It is (quite) uncontroversial that welfare has moral value and provides moral reasons; but it is highly contested how in particular. We ought not to harm people, but do we also ought to benefit them? Does this include future people – even if their existence depends on our actions? And can we aggregate people’s welfare, or should we limit the trade-offs between their harms and benefits?

Our account of welfare has implications for ethics; but do ethical considerations also provide reasons to adopt one or another theory of welfare? What is the interaction between theories of welfare and the ethics of welfare? 

Some lives are better and some are worse; but what constitutes their prudential value? Are well-being and ill-being analogous or do they differ in structure and relevance – and what do particular theories imply? What are the relevant underlying concepts of desire, pleasure, friendship, or other objective goods on which welfare may depend?

This workshop provides a forum for the discussion of those and related questions. It aims at rallying scholars of philosophy to expand our understanding in these issues, and we hope to promote the philosophical engagement with ethics, welfare, and how they interact.

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