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PHL375 Lecture Notes GRIFFIN.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Christine Burton

GRIFFIN  Maximal well-being: the satisfaction of one's strongest informed desires pertaining to one's own life  explain why things are desirable based on our desiring them → must one desire something in order for it to be good for them? e.g. example of surprise inheritance (don't desire the inheritance because ignorant of it's existence, but having it is obviously good for you)  Griffin interprets desire very broadly: involves actively going for something as well as not avoiding it or simply being indifferent to it  Is desiring something sufficient for it to be good for us? STRONGEST  Desires are structured in hierarchical manner: Global → Higher Order → Local (highest to lowest)  Strength of desire depends somewhat on its hierarchical placement BUT obviously not all global desires have the same strength; it comes down to preference INFORMED  even when some of our strongest central desires are fulfilled we are no better, or even worse, off; actual desires vs informed desires; we can be misinformed about what we desire  Cases where getting what you desire is not good for you... -You're misinformed about the nature of the object (or its consequences) -You're misinformed about own ultimate desires -You're misinformed about possible alternative choices -You fail to understand what a de
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