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date: 12 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the two most promising current views of happiness: the life satisfaction theory and the emotional state theory. The life satisfaction theory, it is argued, has a number of problems. Most importantly, it does not straightforwardly represent how well individuals see their lives going for them. The emotional state theory is preferred and shown to go far beyond one’s mere feeling states to a condition of “psychic flourishing.” Although virtue and right action are admittedly more important than happiness, this rich state of psychic flourishing is extremely important for individual lives and for the development of nations. The importance and complex character of happiness calls for increased care in its measurement.

Keywords: happiness, life satisfaction, emotional state, well-being, welfare, flourishing, self-fulfillment, subjective well-being, virtue, morality, eudaimonia

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