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UNC-Chapel Hill PHIL 154 - Philosophical Theories of Well-being

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PHIL 154 Philosophical theories of well-being1. Good Life (a choiceworthy life on the whole)a. Well-being (welfare, flourishing, eudaimonia)i. Psychological states1. Happiness (emotional state theories, hedonism, life satisfaction theories, hybrid theories)2. Other states (excitement, liking)ii. Other goods (friendship, success, health)b. Morality/valuec. Other valuesThe “Big 3” (families of) theories of well-being- Theory  Well-being consists in…o Mental state theories  feeling goodo Desire-Satisfaction Theories  getting what one wants/valueso Objective list Theories  getting what is good, even if not what one wantsMental State Theories- Theory  Well-being consists in…o Hedonism  pleasure and lack of paino Life Satisfaction  Positively evaluating one’s lifeo (Authentic) Happiness  (Authentic) Positive emotional dispositions An Argument for Hedonism- A human life is an extended experience- Whether experiences are good or bad depends solely on how pleasant or unpleasant they are- Therefore, what makes human lives go well or poorly depends solely on how pleasant or unpleasant they areDesire-Satisfaction Theories- TheoryWell-being consists in…o Desire-Satisfaction  Satisfying one’s intrinsic desireso Idealized Desire-Satisfaction  Satisfying intrinsic desires one would have under ideal conditionso Value-Satisfaction  Fulfilling one’s valuesAn Argument for Desire-Satisfaction Theory- A person’s well-being consists in getting those things that are non-instrumentally good for them- Something is good/bad for a person, if and only if its something they do, or could be brought to, care about - Therefore, a person’s well-being consists in getting the things they do, or could be brought to, care aboutObjective List Theories- Theory  Well-being consists in…o Tom Hurka  pleasure, achievement, knowledge, virtueo Guy Fletcher  pleasure, achievement, friendship, happiness, self-respect, virtueo James Griffin  pleasure, achievement, understanding, autonomy, deep relationshipsAn Argument for Objective List Theories- Human beings are: subjects of experience, rational agents, knowers, social beings…- Subjects of experience do well when their experiences are pleasant/happy- Rational agents do well when they achieve their goals- Knowers do well when they know/understand the world- Social beings do well when they have deep relationships with others- Therefore, humans do well when the aforementioned are true of


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