PREFERENTISM AND SELF-SACRIFICE
Version of Record online: 16 FEB 2011
© 2011 The Author. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly © 2011 University of Southern California and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
Volume 92, Issue 1, pages 18–38, March 2011
How to Cite
HEATHWOOD, C. (2011), PREFERENTISM AND SELF-SACRIFICE. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 92: 18–38. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2010.01384.x
- Issue online: 16 FEB 2011
- Version of Record online: 16 FEB 2011
According to the argument from self-sacrifice, standard, unrestricted desire-based theories of welfare fail because they have the absurd implication that self-sacrifice is conceptually impossible. I attempt to show that, in fact, the simplest imaginable, completely unrestricted desire-based theory of well-being is perfectly compatible with the phenomenon of self-sacrifice – so long as the theory takes the right form. I go on to consider a new argument from self-sacrifice against this simple theory, which, I argue, also fails. I conclude that, contrary to popular opinion, considerations of self-sacrifice do not pose a problem for preferentist theories of welfare.