Value, Interest, and Well-Being

a1 King's College London timothy.macklem@kcl.ac.uk
a2 University of Oxford john.gardner@law.ox.ac.uk

Article author query
macklem t   [Google Scholar] 
gardner j   [Google Scholar] 


In this article we consider and cast doubt on two doctrines given prominence and prestige by the utilitarian tradition in ethics. According to the interest theory of value, value is realized only in the advancement of people's interests. According to the well-being theory of interests, people's interests are advanced only in the augmentation of their well-being. We argue that it is possible to resist these doctrines without abandoning the value-humanist doctrine that the value of anything has to be explained in terms of its potential to contribute to human lives and their quality.

(Published Online November 24 2006)