Whether it is to be maximized or promoted as the object of a duty of beneficence, well-being is a vitally important notion in ethical theory. Well-being is a value, but to play the role it has often been assigned by ethical theory it must also be something we can measure and compare. It is a normative concept, then, but it also seems to have empirical content. Historically, philosophical conceptions of well-being have been responsive to the paired demands for normative and empirical adequacy. However, recent work has yet to pay serious attention to the burgeoning field of well-being research in empirical psychology. This might be because the research is new and unknown, or it might be due to uncertainty about how a philosophical investigation would take such research into account. This chapter offers solutions to both of these problems. It provides an overview of well-being research in empirical psychology. It then uses this overview as part of an argument for an empirical informed account of well-being that we call the Value-Based Life Satisfaction Account.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.