Why economists should be unhappy with the economics of happiness

Economics and Philosophy 24 (2):145-165 (2008)
The economics of happiness is an influential research programme, the aim of which is to change welfare economics radically. In this paper I set out to show that its foundations are unreliable. I shall maintain two basic theses: (a) the economics of happiness shows inconsistencies with the first person standpoint, contrary claims on the part of the economists of happiness notwithstanding, and (b) happiness is a dubious concept if it is understood as the goal of welfare policies. These two theses are closely related and lead to a third thesis: (c) happiness should be replaced by autonomy as the fundamental goal of welfare economics. To defend my claims I shall show that a hedonic approach to happiness leads to an awkward trilemma. Furthermore, I shall clarify the meaning of and , along with their conceptual relationships
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DOI 10.1017/S0266267108001788
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References found in this work BETA
John Stuart Mill (2009). On Liberty. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophical Quarterly. Oxford University Press 519-522.
A. Macintyre (1984). After Virtue. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.

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Daniel M. Hausman (2010). Hedonism and Welfare Economics. Economics and Philosophy 26 (03):321-344.

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