Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Rivka Weinberg

Reader 2

Julie Tannenbaum

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Some philosophers think that one’s well-being increases when one obtains more objective goods, and one of those objective goods under debate is one’s narrative. In this thesis, I examine how one’s narrative can increase one’s well-being by itself by drawing from David Velleman’s argument for narrative value. After finding Velleman’s argument compelling, I clarify what a narrative is, including how it has an objective and subjective component. I then explore what criteria are necessary for one’s narrative to make a positive contribution to one’s well-being by presenting Connie Rosati’s argument that one’s narrative needs to be chosen or internalized, affirming, and make one’s failings nearly irrelevant. I add the necessary condition that a narrative needs to be true for it to increase one’s well-being. Finally, after rejecting irreplaceability as necessary for a meaningful narrative, I draw from Antti Kauppinen’s account of a meaningful narrative to argue that meaning is necessary for a narrative to increase one’s well-being.