In Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities. New York, NY, USA: pp. 229 - 256 (2021)

William Lauinger
Chestnut Hill College
This paper extends previous work of mine on a view of human well-being that is a hybrid of objective-list theories and desire theories. Though some of what I say traverses old ground, much of what I say is new – new, that is, not in terms of ultimate conclusions, but rather in terms of (a) routes toward these ultimate conclusions and (b) certain implications of these ultimate conclusions (e.g., implications concerning the measurement of well-being). There are two different visions of what human beings are that I privilege and attempt to synthesize in this paper. One of these visions pushes us toward an objective-list theory. This vision is a broadly Aristotelian one according to which humans have various capacities that are central to their functioning well as the kinds of things they are, that is, as human beings. Though this broadly Aristotelian vision captures something necessary for well-being, it is, as it were, only half of the story. The other half of the story derives from a vision of human beings as unique individuals with different sets of intrinsic desires, and this desire-focused vision of humans is itself informed by Jacques Lacan and his view that each human self is constituted by a particular and dynamic chains-of-signifiers-plus-desire-flow structure. I start by briefly discussing mental state theories (section 1). Then I discuss objective-list theories at some length (sections 2-3), and, while doing this, I occasionally comment on pro-attitude theories (e.g., desire theories). After that, I present the hybrid theory of well-being that I favor and defend it against some objections (section 4). Lastly, I conclude the paper (section 5).
Keywords well-being  desire  objective list theory  perfectionist value  hybrid theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Empirical Relationships Among Five Types of Well-Being.Seth Margolis, Eric Schwitzgebel, Daniel J. Ozer & Sonja Lyubomirsky - 2021 - In Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities. New York, NY, USA: pp. 339-376.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Missing-Desires Objection to Hybrid Theories of Well-Being.William Lauinger - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):270-295.
The Strong-Tie Requirement and Objective-List Theories of Well-Being.William A. Lauinger - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):953-968.
The Subjective List Theory of Well-Being.Eden Lin - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):99-114.
Hybrid Theories.Christopher Woodard - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge. pp. 161-174.
Groundhog Day and the Good Life.Diana Abad - 2012 - Film-Philosophy 16 (1):149-164.
Subjectivity and Objectivity in Theories of Well-Being.Timothy Bruce Snow - 1992 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago


Added to PP index

Total views
11 ( #848,592 of 2,498,301 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #212,099 of 2,498,301 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes