David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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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References found in this work BETA
Martha Craven Nussbaum (2001). The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
Joseph Raz (1986). The Morality of Freedom. Oxford University Press.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1971). Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person. Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
L. W. Sumner (1996). Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics. Oxford University Press.
John Stuart Mill (2009). On Liberty. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophical Quarterly. Oxford University Press 519-522.
Citations of this work BETA
Daniel M. Hausman (2010). Hedonism and Welfare Economics. Economics and Philosophy 26 (3):321-344.
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