Philosophy helps teachers to reflect on key issues and concepts in education, usually through such questions as: What is being educated? What is the good life?
Health, then, might be said to be a constituent of my well-being, but it is not plausibly taken to be all that matters for my well-being. So we may speak of the well-being of someone who is, and will remain in, the most terrible agony: Philosophically, its scope is more often wider, encompassing a whole life.
The point is that some good things in their life made it a happy one, even though they lacked contentment. But this usage is uncommon, and may cause confusion. Is positive psychology about well-being?
As yet, conceptual distinctions are not sufficiently clear within the discipline. And speaking of the happiness of a plant would be stretching language too far. But, in fact, eudaimonia seems to have been restricted not only to conscious beings, but to human beings: This is because eudaimonia suggests that the gods, or fortune, have favoured one, and the idea that the gods could care about non-humans would not have occurred to most Greeks.
But this temptation should be resisted. Your well-being concerns how well your life goes for you, and we can allow that my well-being depends on yours without introducing the confusing notion that my well-being is constituted by yours.
There are signs in Aristotelian thought of an expansion of the subject or owner of well-being. But this should be taken either as a metaphorical expression of the dependence claim, or as an identity claim which does not threaten the notion of well-being: It may be good for us to contemplate such serenity, but contemplating serenity is not the same as the serenity itself.
Likewise, my giving money to a development charity may have moral value, that is, be morally good. And the effects of my donation may be good for others. But it remains an open question whether my being morally good is good for me; and, if it is, its being good for me is still conceptually distinct from its being morally good.
Consider a possible world that contains only a single item: Leave aside any doubts you might have about whether paintings can be good in a world without viewers, and accept for the sake of argument that this painting has aesthetic value in that world.
It seems intuitively plausible to claim that the value of this world is constituted solely by the aesthetic value of the painting. But now consider a world which contains one individual living a life that is good for them.
How are we to describe the relationship between the value of this world, and the value of the life lived in it for the individual? Are we to say that the world has a value at all? This fails to capture the idea that there is in fact nothing of value in this world except what is good for the individual.
Thoughts such as these led G. When I speak of, say, pleasure as what is good for me, he claimed, I can mean only either that the pleasure I get is good, or that my getting it is good.
Nothing is added by saying that the pleasure constitutes my good, or is good for me. The claim that it is good that I get pleasure is, logically speaking, equivalent to the claim that the world containing the single Vermeer is good. Thus, the world containing the single individual with a life worth living, might be said to contain nothing good per se, but a life that is good for that individual.
And this fact may give us a reason to bring about such a world, given the opportunity. At the end of the same century, a book was published in Cambridge, Mass. But in both cases the critiques stand independently. And, he adds, no such theory is ever likely to be available, since such matters depend so much on context.
Scanlon does, however, implicitly make a claim about what unites these values: Scanlon suggests that we often make claims about what is good in our lives without referring to the notion of well-being, and indeed that it would often be odd to do so.
And in some circumstances such a claim would anyway not be odd: Further, people do use the notion of well-being in practical thinking.On the special counsel, presidential pardons, and impeachment, the most important decisions will be rendered not by judges or senators but by the American people.
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