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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Health is valuable both instrumentally, in terms of its consequences for autonomy, opportunity, and well-being, and intrinsically, at least with respect to the mental states it encompasses. Quantifying the value of health is problematic, because there are many different ways in which people may suffer diminished health. Because of this multidimensionality, the “healthier than” relation is incomplete, and health has no quantity or magnitude. Health must be measured by its value. But it has different values, and the same token health states will have different values in different environments or for people who have different goals and activities. The value of types of health states must thus be some sort of average of the varying values of tokens. Assigning those average values is challenging, and actual techniques, which rely on preference surveys, are problematic.

Keywords: health, measurement, preferences, disability, disease, naturalism, well-being, capabilities

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