Subjective Well-Being and Desire Satisfaction

Philosophical Papers 39 (1):1-28 (2011)
There is a large literature in empirical psychology studying what psychologists call 'subjective well-being'. Only limited attention has been given to these results by philosophers who study what we call 'well-being'. In this paper, I assess the relevance of the empirical results to one philosophical theory of well-being, the desire satisfaction theory. According to the desire satisfaction theory, an individual's well-being is enhanced when her desires are satisfied. The empirical results, however, show that many of our desires are disappointed in the sense that the satisfaction of those desires does not make us any happier. So I develop an argument against the desire theory of well-being on the basis of these empirical results. I then provide a defense of the desire theory based on a careful examination of the measures of subjective well-being used by psychologists. I conclude that the empirical results do not threaten the desire theory of well-being
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/05568641003669409
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,305
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Aristotle (2012). Nicomachean Ethics. Courier Dover Publications.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

147 ( #28,533 of 1,932,568 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #87,985 of 1,932,568 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.