Hedonism and the Good Life

  • Christine VitranoEmail author

What must we do to live good lives? Are there necessary components that all good lives share? Is happiness all that matters? These are among the questions Jean Kazez addresses in her book The Weight of Things, where she defends a pluralist account of the good life that includes fundamental goods such as happiness, autonomy, self-expression, morality, and progress.1 Despite admitting that “there’s something marvelous about the very idea that just one thing matters in life,” Kazez rejects hedonism in favor of an account that presents a roster of goods, all of which are necessary for living well.2

I, too, admire the simplicity and intuitive appeal of hedonism, and I am surprised it isn’t taken more seriously within the literature as a theory of well-being, considering the standard objections associated with “The Philosophy of Swine”3 and Nozick’s “Experience Machine”4 have repeatedly been shown to notconstitute a refutation of hedonism. I suspect some theorists’ resistance is due to the...


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Brooklyn CollegeCUNYBrooklynUSA

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