Philosophical Studies 148 (1):61 - 68 (2010)

Jennifer Hawkins
Duke University
Theories of well-being are typically divided into subjective and objective. Subjective theories are those which make facts about a person’s welfare depend on facts about her actual or hypothetical mental states. I am interested in what motivates this approach to the theory of welfare. The contemporary view is that subjectivism is devoted to honoring the evaluative perspective of the individual, but this is both a misleading account of the motivations behind subjectivism, and a vision that dooms subjective theories to failure. I suggest that we need to revisit and reinstate certain features of traditional hedonism, in particular the idea that felt experience plays a role that no theory of welfare can afford to ignore. I then offer a sketch of a theory that is subjective in my preferred sense and avoids the worst sins of hedonism as well as the problems generated by the contemporary constraints of subjective theorists.
Keywords Well-being  Welfare  Happiness  Good life  Subjective theories of welfare  Hedonism   Affect  Role of depression in a theory of well-being
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9505-4
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References found in this work BETA

Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics.L. W. Sumner - 1996 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Hybrid Theories.Christopher Woodard - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 161-174.
Can Subjectivism Account for Degrees of Wellbeing?Willem van der Deijl & Huub Brouwer - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (3):767-788.
The Nature of Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien Deonna (eds.) - 2017 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Well‐Being, Part 2: Theories of Well‐Being.Eden Lin - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (2):e12813.

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