WoW - Workshop on Welfare

July 9th to 11th, 2021
Saarland University, Germany

Move online

Even though vaccinations are in progress in many parts of the world and it might be possible to meet up in person, nobody really knows how the situation will be in July. In order to allow proper planning for everybody the Workshop on Welfare will move online entirely. The format is not determined yet, but we will notify all registered participants beforehand and make sure that we will have proper opportunities for informal conversations between and after the sessions.

Since there is only a limited number of possible participants we ask you to register by sending an email to  workshoponwelfare(at)  until July 1 if you would like to attend.    

Information on the Workshop

Considerations about welfare, the value of welfare and its distribution within populations are central to moral philosophy. They are of particular concern for all philosophers who take welfare to be (at least) one source for normative reasons. And, regardless of any deontic implications, welfare axiology also provides an array of fascinating philosophical questions.

  • What is personal goodness and what constitutes welfare?
  • Is well-being purely subjective and should we accept a resonance constraint on welfare?
  • Can we circumvent problems like ones raised by the experience machine or desires with post-mortal content?
  • What accounts of pleasure, desire or objective goods are compatible with classical theories of welfare?
  • How does the welfare of persons relate to value assessments of populations?
  • Does the aggregation of individual welfare require a shift to an impersonal point of view?
  • Can we extend value assessments to variable populations?
  • How can we solve problems of variable population comparisons such as the Non-Identity Problem and the Repugnant Conclusion?


This workshop provides a forum for the discussion of those and related questions. It aims at rallying scholars of philosophy to expand our understanding in these issues, and we hope to promote the philosophical engagement with welfare axiology. May welfare fare well in Germany, Europe and beyond.

Keynote speakers are

  • Ralf Bader (University of Fribourg)
  • Dale Dorsey (University of Kansas) and
  • Eden Lin (Ohio State University)

Further Speakers

  • Gaia Belardinelli (University of Copenhagen)
  • Jonas Harney (Saarland University)
  • Thorsten Helfer (Saarland University)
  • Stéphane Lemaire (Rennes University 1)
  • Nicholas Makins (London School of Economics)
  • Catherine Robb (Tilburg University)
  • Luca Stroppa (University of Turin/University of St. Andrews)
  • Charlotte Unruh (Technical University of Munich)
  • Joseph Van Weelden (Ahmedabad University)    




Friday, July 9

  • 14:00 Introduction
  • 14:45–15:30 Thorsten Helfer (Saarland University)
    The Vagueness of Desires
  • 15:45–16:30 Catherine Robb (Tilburg University)
    Prudential Particularism
  • 17:00–18:30 Dale Dorsey (University of Kansas)
    The Asthetic Life
  • 19:00 Social Event

Saturday, July 10

  • 12:00 Introduction
  • 12:15–13:00 Joseph Van Weelden (Ahmedabad University)
    Hybridism or Pluralism? Two Strategies for Combining Objective and Subjective Factors in a Theory of Well-Being
  • 13:15–14:00 Stephane Lemaire (Rennes University)
    Well-being, valuing and the guise of the good
  • 14:30–16:00 Eden Lin (Ohio State University)
    Pleasure, Pain, and Pluralism about Well-Being
  • 16:45–17:30 Charlotte Unruh (Technical University of Munich)
    The problem with measuring non-comparative harm
  • 17:45–18:30 Jonas Harney (Saarland University)
    The Pseudo Person-Affectingness of the Interpersonal Comparative View
  • 19:00 Main Social Event

Sunday, July 11

  • 12:00 Introduction
  • 12:15–13:00 Luca Stroppa (University of Turin / University of St. Andrew)
    The Monstrous Conclusion: a Welfare Limit in Population Ethics?
  • 13:15–14:00 Nicholas Makins (London School of Economics)
    Rational Choice Under Uncertainty About Population Axiology
  • 14:30–15:15 Gaia Belardinelli (University of Copenhagen)
    Comparative and non-comparative aspects of desert-adjusted axiologies
  • 15:45–17:15 Ralf Bader (University of Fribourg)
    Person-affecting population ethics
  • 17:45 Social Event


The abstracts as well as the as schedule can be found here .

The workshop is organised by Jonas Harney (Saarland University) and Thorsten Helfer (Saarland University), and generously supported by GAP, UdS Internationalisierungsfonds & Professorship for Practical Philosophy.

Der Header ist ein Ausschnitt von Hermann Waibels Bild "Lichtfarbe" von 1987. Wir danken Herrn Waibel für die freundliche Erlaubnis, sein Bild zu nutzen.