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  1. Public Policy and the Conditional Value of Happiness.Jan-Willem van der Rijt - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):381-408.
    This paper examines the increasingly popular view that new insights from the science of subjective well-being (SSWB) should play a prominent role in the determination of public policy. Though there are instrumental reasons for caring about societal happiness too, these political aspirations of the SSWB appear to be mostly intrinsically motivated. As the intrinsic value of happiness is endorsed across the political happiness as a fitting response to the state of the world, authenticity, and merit – it is shown that (...)
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  • (F)Utility Exposed.Roberto Fumagalli - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):955-966.
    In recent years, several authors have called to ground descriptive and normative decision theory on neuro-psychological measures of utility. In this paper, I combine insights from the best available neuro-psychological findings, leading philosophical conceptions of welfare and contemporary decision theory to rebut these prominent calls. I argue for two claims of general interest to philosophers, choice modellers and policy makers. First, severe conceptual, epistemic and evidential problems plague ongoing attempts to develop accurate and reliable neuro-psychological measures of utility. And second, (...)
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  • Decision Sciences and the New Case for Paternalism: Three Welfare-Related Justificatory Challenges.Roberto Fumagalli - 2016 - Social Choice and Welfare 47 (2):459-480.
    Several authors have recently advocated a so-called new case for paternalism, according to which empirical findings from distinct decision sciences provide compelling reasons in favour of paternalistic interference. In their view, the available behavioural and neuro-psychological findings enable paternalists to address traditional anti-paternalistic objections and reliably enhance the well-being of their target agents. In this paper, I combine insights from decision-making research, moral philosophy and evidence-based policy evaluation to assess the merits of this case. In particular, I articulate and defend (...)
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  • Experienced Utility or Decision Utility for QALY Calculation? Both.Paige A. Clayton & Douglas P. MacKay - 2018 - Public Health Ethics 11 (1):82-89.
    Policy-makers must allocate scarce resources to support constituents’ health needs. This requires policy-makers to be able to evaluate health states and allocate resources according to some principle of allocation. The most prominent approach to evaluating health states is to appeal to the strength of people’s preferences to avoid occupying them, which we refer to as decision utility metrics. Another approach, experienced utility metrics, evaluates health states based on their hedonic quality. In this article, we argue that although decision utility metrics (...)
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  • Can Welfare Be Measured with a Preference-Satisfaction Index?Willem van der Deijl - 2018 - Journal of Economic Methodology 25 (2):126-142.
    Welfare in economics is generally conceived of in terms of the satisfaction of preferences, but a general, comparable index measure of welfare is generally not taken to be possible. In recent years, in response to the usage of measures of subjective well-being as indices of welfare in economics, a number of economists have started to develop measures of welfare based on preference-satisfaction. In order to evaluate the success of such measures, I formulate criteria of policy-relevance and theoretical success in the (...)
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  • What If Well-Being Measurements Are Non-Linear?Daniel Wodak - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):29-45.
    Well-being measurements are frequently used to support conclusions about a range of philosophically important issues. This is a problem, because we know too little about the intervals of the relevant scales. I argue that it is plausible that well-being measurements are non-linear, and that common beliefs that they are linear are not truth-tracking, so we are not justified in believing that well-being scales are linear. I then argue that this undermines common appeals to both hypothetical and actual well-being measurements; I (...)
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  • Are Skill-Selective Immigration Policies Just?Douglas MacKay - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (1):123-154.
    Many high-income countries have skill-selective immigration policies, favoring prospective immigrants who are highly skilled. I investigate whether it is permissible for high-income countries to adopt such policies. Adopting what Joseph Carens calls a " realistic approach " to the ethics of immigration, I argue first that it is in principle permissible for high-income countries to take skill as a consideration in favor of selecting one prospective immigrant rather than another. I argue second that high-income countries must ensure that their skill-selective (...)
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  • Nozick's Experience Machine is Dead, Long Live the Experience Machine!Dan Weijers - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (4):513-535.
    Robert Nozick's experience machine thought experiment (Nozick's scenario) is widely used as the basis for a ?knockdown? argument against all internalist mental state theories of well-being. Recently, however, it has been convincingly argued that Nozick's scenario should not be used in this way because it elicits judgments marred by status quo bias and other irrelevant factors. These arguments all include alternate experience machine thought experiments, but these scenarios also elicit judgments marred by status quo bias and other irrelevant factors. In (...)
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  • Calculating Qalys: Liberalism and the Value of Health States.Douglas MacKay - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (2):259-285.
    The value of health states is often understood to depend on their impact on the goodness of people's lives. As such, prominent health states metrics are grounded in particular conceptions of wellbeing – e.g. hedonism or preference satisfaction. In this paper, I consider how liberals committed to the public justification requirement – the requirement that public officials choose laws and policies that are justifiable to their citizens – should evaluate health states. Since the public justification requirement prohibits public officials from (...)
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  • Theories of Well-Being and Well-Being Policy: A View From Methodology.Roberto Fumagalli - 2021 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (1):124-133.
    In the recent well-being literature, various theory-free accounts of well-being have been proposed to ground informative evaluations of policies’ welfare implications without relying on any specifi...
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  • Well-Being Policy: What Standard of Well-Being?Daniel M. Haybron & Valerie Tiberius - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (4):712--733.
    ABSTRACT:This paper examines the norms that should guide policies aimed at promoting happiness or, more broadly, well-being. In particular, we take up the question of which conception of well-being should govern well-being policy, assuming some such policies to be legitimate. In answer, we lay out a case for ‘pragmatic subjectivism’: given widely accepted principles of respect for persons, well-being policy may not assume any view of well-being, subjectivist or objectivist. Rather, it should promote what its intended beneficiaries see as good (...)
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  • Scaling Happiness.Jelle de Boer - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (5):703-718.
    This paper focuses on a particular method which is used in contemporary empirical happiness studies, namely measuring people’s happiness by scoring their emotions (Kahneman is a prominent scholar). I examine the presupposition in this field that emotion scores can be added or subtracted, that throughout affective space runs a straight axis that plots hedonic tone or pleasure.
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  • The Futile Search for True Utility.Roberto Fumagalli - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):325-347.
    In traditional decision theory, utility is regarded as a mathematical representation of preferences to be inferred from agents hedonic experiences. Some go as far as to contend that utility is literally computed by specific neural areas and urge economists to complement or substitute their notion of utility with some neuro-psychological construct. In this paper, I distinguish three notions of utility that are frequently mentioned in debates about decision theory and examine some critical issues regarding their definition and measurability. Moreover, I (...)
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  • Which Problem of Adaptation?Willem van der Deijl - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (4):474-492.
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  • Happiness.Dan Haybron - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    There are roughly two philosophical literatures on “happiness,” each corresponding to a different sense of the term. One uses ‘happiness’ as a value term, roughly synonymous with well-being or flourishing. The other body of work uses the word as a purely descriptive psychological term, akin to ‘depression’ or ‘tranquility’. An important project in the philosophy of happiness is simply getting clear on what various writers are talking about: what are the important meanings of the term and how do they connect? (...)
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  • Philosophy of Economics.Daniel M. Hausman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is a comprehensive anthology of works concerning the nature of economics as a science, including classic texts and essays exploring specific branches and schools of economics. Apart from the classics, most of the selections in the third edition are new, as are the introduction and bibliography. No other anthology spans the whole field and offers a comprehensive introduction to questions about economic methodology.
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