Preferences are often thought to be relevant for well-being: respecting preferences, or satisfying them, contributes in some way to making people's lives go well for them. A crucial assumption that accompanies this conviction is that there is a normative standard that allows us to discriminate between preferences that do, and those that do not, contribute to well-being. The papers collected in this volume, written by moral philosophers and philosophers of economics, explore a number of central issues concerning the formulation of such a normative standard. They examine what a defensible account of how preferences should be formed for them to contribute to well-being should look like; whether preferences are subject to requirements of rationality and what reasons we have to prefer certain things over others; and what the significance is, if any, of preferences that are arational or not conducive to well-being.
Serena Olsaretti is Lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. She is the editor of Desert and Justice (2003) and has also published in The Journal of Political Philosophy and Utilitas.