Relational Hedonism

  • John HadleyEmail author


In this chapter I outline a key element of animal neopragmatism: relational hedonism. Relational hedonism is a psychological-cum-anthropological thesis about public concern for pain. The central claim is that to show concern for the pain of an individual is to betray concern for them in a much broader sense. The basic idea is that concern for pain is concern for more than pain. This concern can be variously expressed as concern for life, well-being, intrinsic value, inherent value, or simply concern for the individual for their own sake. The theory of relational hedonism draws upon Helm’s theory of love and friendship. In line with Helm’s view, to show concern for a particular aspect of a person’s life is to show concern for them in a holistic sense. I adapt Helm’s theory to explain the broad-based conception of welfare that the attitudes-to-animals data suggests is the folk’s conception of welfare.


Hedonism Friendship Love Helm Welfare Attitudes-to-animals Relational hedonism Pain 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Sydney UniversityPenrithAustralia

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