Taking the satisfaction (and the life) out of life satisfaction

Philosophical Explorations 14 (3):249-262 (2011)

Authors
Dan Haybron
Saint Louis University
Abstract
The science of well-being studies an evaluative kind, well-being, which raises natural worries about the ability of empirical research to deliver. This paper argues that well-being research can provide important information about how people are doing without entangling itself very deeply in controversial normative claims. Most life satisfaction research, for instance, purports only to tell us how people see their lives going relative to what they care about ? something most people can agree is important, whatever their theory of well-being. At the same time, such research can mislead if it does not in fact have the significance it seems to have. Life satisfaction measures in fact have this problem: life satisfaction attitudes have deep in-principle limitations in their ability to reflect the subjective quality of people's lives, for instance because they are only weakly constrained by the facts about how people see their lives going. You might, e.g., reasonably be satisfied with your life even if you think it's going badly for you. I propose largely replacing such measures with aggregate life evaluation measures, which dispense with both the global judgment and ?satisfaction? elements of life satisfaction
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/13869795.2011.594959
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,179
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

The Idea of Justice.Amartya Sen - 2009 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Well-Being.Roger Crisp - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What is This Thing Called Happiness?Fred Feldman - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
On Being Happy or Unhappy.Daniel M. Haybron - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2):287–317.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

How Theories of Well-Being Can Help Us Help.Valerie Tiberius - 2014 - Journal of Practical Ethics 2 (2):1-19.
The Proper Pursuit of Happiness.Daniel M. Haybron - 2013 - Res Philosophica 90 (3):387-411.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Work: The Process and the Person. [REVIEW]A. R. Gini & T. Sullivan - 1987 - Journal of Business Ethics 6 (8):649 - 655.
Atonement Without Satisfaction.Richard Cross - 2001 - Religious Studies 37 (4):397-416.
Spinoza's Theories of Value.Andrew Youpa - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (2):209 – 229.
On Being Happy or Unhappy.Daniel M. Haybron - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2):287–317.
Subjective Well-Being and Desire Satisfaction.Donald W. Bruckner - 2010 - Philosophical Papers 39 (1):1-28.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-08-27

Total views
70 ( #124,873 of 2,285,434 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #325,441 of 2,285,434 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature