Well-being and self-interest: Personal identity, Parfit, and conflicting attitudes to time in liberal theory and social policy

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Abstract

Orthodox liberal accounts of well-being recommend temporal neutrality when pursuing individual self-interest. For Derek Parfit these accounts are inadequate as having a bias attitude to time consistently reflects the human condition and a reductionist view of personal identity. However, his position conflicts with contemporary understandings of well-being, as these are frequently based on non-reductionist views of personal identity which are opposed to Parfit’s reductionism. The alternative proposal here is to resist committing to an either/or proposition concerning personal identity and our attitudes to time, to make better sense of well-being promotion in liberal theory and social practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Well-Being
EditorsKathleen T. Galvin
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter22
Pages222-229
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-72496-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-85010-1
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2018

Keywords

  • Well-being
  • social policy
  • self-interest
  • liberalism
  • derek parfit
  • disability
  • old age pensions
  • adam smith
  • john rawls
  • henry sidgwick
  • rational choice
  • rationality
  • time
  • Identity
  • distribution
  • welfare state

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