Probably, at least sometimes, you think that certain aspects of your life make it good for you. These aspects are what I have in mind when I use the term welfare. Your own welfare consists only in those aspects of your life that are good for you. Your life may turn out to be good for other people, perhaps because you can help them in some way, but its being good for others is conceptually distinct from its being good for you. Welfare, then, is what makes a person’s life worth living for that person. Though one could make fine distinctions here, I shall take it to be roughly equivalent to a person’s good, self-interest, flourishing, well-being, prudential value or utility.
Despite the fact that this book is about utilit arianism, I decided not to employ the term utility in a central rôle. First, it is ambiguous, having been used in the utilitarian tradition to refer either to welfare itself or to what produces it. In the latter, instrumental sense, the banana milkshake I am now