Chancy Goods and Well-Being Pluralism
Gerard Vong (Fordham University)

March 27, 2014, 12:15pm - 2:15pm
Department of Philosophy, University of Melbourne

Old Physics G16 (Jim Potter Room)
Parkville Campus
Melbourne 3010

Topic areas


In this paper I argue for 'Chancy Goods', the view that an individual
X's increased chance of receiving a good G is good for X whether or
not X receives G.  Chancy Goods offers a more plausible view of the
value of chances of benefiting than rival views because it offers a
better account of our intuitive judgments regarding a range of
probabilistic cases.  After clarifying the kind of counterfactual
chance relevant for Chancy Goods, I then argue that on a number of
prominent accounts of well-being, the value of Chancy Goods cannot be
explained entirely instrumentally.  As a result, Chancy Goods can be
used to support the view that human well-being consists of more than
one type of non-instrumental good ('Well-Being Pluralism').  Finally,
I consider whether there's a value asymmetry for risks of harms by
asking whether or not an individual X's increased chance of suffering
a harm H is bad for X whether or not X suffers H.

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