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Getting What You Want

April 20, 2009 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Portrait image of Russ Shafer-Landau seated in front of book shelves wearing a black sweater and glasses

Monday Seminar:

Russ Shafer-Landau

Resident Fellow (2008-2009)

Philosophy, UW-Madison


Many have thought that a person’s quality of life is determined by the extent to which his or her desires are satisfied. The paper considers the attractions of this view, and then subjects it to critical scrutiny. The tentative conclusion proposed is that this theory of human well-being is mistaken, and that its failings can help us identify some of the important elements in a more plausible theory of the good life.


Russ Shafer-Landau is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research focuses primarily on the foundations of ethical theory. His publications include Moral Realism: A Defense (Oxford University Press 2003); Whatever Happened to Good and Evil? (Oxford University Press 2004); and The Fundamentals of Ethics (Oxford University Press 2009). He is the editor of the series Oxford Studies in Metaethics, and the editor of The Ethical Life(Oxford University Press 2009), Metaethics: Critical Concepts in Philosophy (Routledge 2008) and Ethical Theory(Blackwell 2007). Shafer-Landau received his B.A. at Brown University, his M.A. at Oxford University, and his Ph.D. at the University of Arizona.


April 20, 2009
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Bradley Memorial Building, Room 204
1225 Linden Drive
Madison, 53703 United States