Shorty topics #6

Yet more “shorty” topics; this is set #6. One of your choice due by email Sunday night, October 14th. You know who to send them to, and where to get more information about shorties.

  1. According to Kraut, when we ask a man what his idea of happiness is, we’re asking about the standards he imposes on himself, and the goals he is seeking. Does this conception cohere with Railton’s understanding of happiness? Why or why not?
  2. What’s the difference between subjectivism and objectivism, as defined by Kraut? Why does he think that subjectivism is the correct account? Do you agree? Why or why not?
  3. According to Kekes, he parts company with Kraut “because he attacks and I defend the objective view of happiness.” (193) Is Kekes right? Does Kraut reject the kind of objectivism that Kekes propounds?
  4. Why does Kraut regard Aristotle’s brand of objectivism to be inhumane? What improvement does Kraut suggest? Is it, your view, an improved version of objectivism?
  5. Can someone with serious developmental disabilities be happy? Discuss in light of Kraut’s discussion of happiness.
  6. What is Annas’ best reason for claiming that “when I wonder whether winning the lottery will make me really happy… I am not wondering whether it will produce smiley-face feeling or give me what I want”? (242) Does that reason seem compelling to you?