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The Political Problem of Welfare

  • John HadleyEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter I explain the political problem of welfare. There is a question mark hanging over the democratic legitimacy of the prevailing policy conception of welfare. The political problem of welfare arises because of a key difference between the policy conception of welfare and the folk conception of welfare. The policy conception is that welfare is all about feelings, specifically, measurable suffering; the folk conception is that welfare is about more than feelings. The folk view encompasses nonhedonistic considerations such as dignity, respect, and naturalness. I explain the development of the policy conception and identify its origins in animal welfare science and the theory of value known as hedonism. I present a survey of the attitudes-to-animals literature as support for the claim that the folk view of welfare is broad-based.

Keywords

Hedonism Animal welfare Animal welfare science Folk psychology Attitudes-to-animals Nonhedonism Public policy Scientism 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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