David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Modern reflection about the good life and the good society has been dominated by a spirit of liberal optimism, according to which people typically know what’s good for them and make prudent choices in pursuit of their interests. As a result, people tend to do best, and pretty well at that, when given the greatest possible freedom to live as they wish. This appealing doctrine rests on a bold assumption about human psychology: namely, that people have a high degree of aptitude for securing their well-being given arbitrarily high levels of “option freedom.” Yet a large body of empirical research suggests that people are systematically prone to make a variety of serious errors in the pursuit of happiness. These errors are probably serious enough to place liberal optimism’s psychological assumptions in doubt. If people do tend to fare best in the option-rich environments traditionally favored by liberal moderns, notably classical economists, this may not be mainly through the prudent exercise of choice. Or perhaps human beings actually benefit from certain constraints or burdens on choice.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Aaron Smuts (2013). To Be or Never to Have Been: Anti-Natalism and a Life Worth Living. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (4):1-19.
Similar books and articles
Richard Arneson (1999). Human Flourishing Versus Desire Satisfaction. Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (01):113-142.
Carolyn Price (2009). Reviews the Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being by Daniel M. Haybron. Oxford University Press, 2008. XV+357 Pp. £30. [REVIEW] Philosophy 84 (4):624-629.
Neera Badhwar (2009). Review of Daniel M. Haybron, The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (10).
Alex Voorhoeve (2009). Mill and Barry on the Foundations of Liberal Rights. The Philosophers' Magazine 46:78-82.
S. E. N. Amartya (2005). Why Exactly is Commitment Important for Rationality? Economics and Philosophy 21 (1):5-14.
Max Hocutt (2010). The Pursuit of Unhappiness: The Elusive Psychology of Well-Being – Daniel M. Haybron. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):433-434.
Joseph Raz (2004). The Role of Well‐Being. Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):269–294.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads67 ( #22,191 of 1,102,846 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #46,777 of 1,102,846 )
How can I increase my downloads?