FAST SUMMARY - Reality_ - David J. Chalmers



  • Hedonism argues that pleasure is the sole intrinsic good and pain is the sole intrinsic bad. A good life is defined by maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.

  • However, some pleasures seem qualitatively superior to others. Intellectual and spiritual pleasures are valued more than purely physical pleasures by many.

  • Nozick's experience machine thought experiment suggests factors beyond just pleasurable experiences matter for a good life. We want to actually achieve and do things.

  • Eudaimonic theories hold that a good life involves developing excellence of character and realizing our human potentials. Happiness is a byproduct, not the main goal.

  • Objective list theories propose a plurality of intrinsic goods like knowledge, friendship, achievement, that constitute a good life regardless of whether they bring happiness.

  • A good life likely requires more than just pleasurable experiences and involves activities and relationships we find meaningful and that develop excellence of character. Happiness alone is not sufficient.