Whole life satisfaction concepts of happiness

Theoria 74 (3):219-238 (2008)
The most popular <span class='Hi'>concepts</span> of <span class='Hi'>happiness</span> among psychologists and philosophers nowadays are <span class='Hi'>concepts</span> of <span class='Hi'>happiness</span> according to which <span class='Hi'>happiness</span> is defined as "<span class='Hi'>satisfaction</span> with <span class='Hi'>life</span> as a <span class='Hi'>whole</span>". Such <span class='Hi'>concepts</span> are "<span class='Hi'>Whole</span> <span class='Hi'>Life</span> <span class='Hi'>Satisfaction</span>" (WLS) <span class='Hi'>concepts</span> of <span class='Hi'>happiness</span>. I show that there are hundreds of non-equivalent ways in which a WLS conception of <span class='Hi'>happiness</span> can be developed. However, every precise conception either requires actual <span class='Hi'>satisfaction</span> with <span class='Hi'>life</span> as a <span class='Hi'>whole</span> or requires hypothetical <span class='Hi'>satisfaction</span> with <span class='Hi'>life</span> as a <span class='Hi'>whole</span>. I show that a person can be "happy" (in any familiar sense that might be relevant to eudaimonism) at a time even though he is not actually satisfied with his <span class='Hi'>life</span> as a <span class='Hi'>whole</span> at that time. I also show that a person can be "happy" at a time even though it is not correct to say that if he were to think about his <span class='Hi'>life</span> at that time, he would be satisfied with it as a <span class='Hi'>whole</span>. My thesis is that if you think that <span class='Hi'>happiness</span> is the Good, you should avoid defining <span class='Hi'>happiness</span> as <span class='Hi'>whole</span> <span class='Hi'>life</span> <span class='Hi'>satisfaction</span>.
Keywords welfare  eudaimonism  Richard Brandt  Wayne Sumner  prudential value  happiness  Wladyslaw Tatarkiewicz  whole life satisfaction  well‐being  Elizabeth Telfer
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DOI 10.1111/j.1755-2567.2008.00019.x
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Aristotle (2012). Nicomachean Ethics. Courier Dover Publications.

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