- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy
- List of Contributors
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Inequality and Poverty Measures
- Social Welfare Functions
- QALY-Based Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
- Fair Allocation
- Social Ordering Functions
- Multidimensional Indicators of Inequality and Poverty
- Happiness-Based Policy Analysis
- Preference-Based Views of Well-Being
- Mental State Approaches to Well-Being
- Objective Goods
- Subjective Well-Being in Psychology
- Subjective Well-Being in Economics
- Equivalent Income
- Extended Preferences
- SWB as a Measure of Individual Well-Being
- Does the Choice of Well-Being Measure Matter Empirically?
- Does Fairness Require a Multidimensional Approach?
- The Capability Approach and Well-Being Measurement for Public Policy
- Measuring Poverty: A Proposal
- Multidimensional Poverty Indices: A Critical Assessment
- Social Evaluation under Risk and Uncertainty
- Individual Responsibility and Equality of Opportunity
- Welfare Comparisons with Heterogeneous Prices, Consumption, and Preferences
- Welfare and the Household
- Preference Inconsistency: A Psychological Perspective
- Lifetime Well-Being
- The Well-Being of Future Generations
- Author Index
- Subject Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter discusses the role of mental states in well-being, focusing on three types of state: pleasure, emotional well-being, and life satisfaction. Some philosophical theories, notably hedonism, take mental states to constitute the entirety of well-being, an approach that has significant attractions but also faces weighty objections. But even those who reject mental state theories of well-being should recognize that the psychological dimensions of well-being are centrally important in human life—though not always in the ways one might expect, particularly in the case of life satisfaction. A second aim of the chapter is to examine the implications of the philosophical discussion for measures of well-being, as well as the contrast between so-called hedonic and eudaimonic approaches. A brief consideration of the upshot of these reflections for policy concludes the chapter.
Daniel M. Haybron, Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO, USA
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