Authors
Valerie Tiberius
University of Minnesota
Dan Haybron
Saint Louis University
Abstract
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 for them: pleasure for hedonists, excellence for Aristotelians, etc. Specifically, well-being policy should promote citizens’ ‘personal welfare values’: those values—and not mere preferences—that individuals see as bearing on their well-being. Finally, we briefly consider how pragmatic subjectivism works in practice. While our discussion takes for granted the legitimacy of well-being policy, we suggest that pragmatic subjectivism strengthens the case for such policy.
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DOI 10.1017/apa.2015.23
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Political Liberalism by John Rawls. [REVIEW]Philip Pettit - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):215-220.
Preference and Urgency.T. M. Scanlon - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (19):655-669.

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Citations of this work BETA

Can the Science of Well-Being Be Objective?Anna Alexandrova - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):421-445.
Democratising Measurement: Or Why Thick Concepts Call for Coproduction.Anna Alexandrova & Mark Fabian - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-23.
Theory Without Theories: Well-Being, Ethics, and Medicine.Jennifer Hawkins - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (6):656-683.
No Theory-Free Lunches in Well-Being Policy.Gil Hersch - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (278):43-64.

View all 20 citations / Add more citations

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