HT24 Week 7 Internal Research WiP

Do Groups Have Well-Being?: Objections from Hedonism and the Consciousness Requirement

Abstract: Do groups have well-being? I investigate this underexplored question and offer a partial defense of group well-being. After setting out the importance of the question, I present a positive argument for group well-being. I argue that many plausible theories of well-being establish group well-being. I then turn to two serious, but not insurmountable, objections. One is that my argument above cuts in both ways: if it turns out that a certain type of well-being theory is true, it rather shows that no groups have well-being. The second objection comes from a widely accepted view that phenomenal consciousness is necessary for being a welfare subject. For the first objection, I argue that there are important differences between my positive argument and the objection: these asymmetries render the objection implausible while keeping my argument intact. For the second objection, I argue that we should weaken the consciousness requirement because the original requirement is undermotivated and faces a counterexample. I appeal to the metaphysical view called perdurantism in the course of this discussion.    

Speaker: Rei Takahashi (Oxford Uehiro/St Cross Scholar)

A hybrid event for Uehiro Centre Members and Associates (booking not required). 

In-person venue: Oxford Uehiro Centre, Suite 1 Seminar Area, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe’s Street, Oxford OX1 1PT (buzzer 1)
Zoom: Joining link available from the Centre's Internal Google Calendar, or on request from