Valerie Tiberius and Alexandra Plakias

in The Moral Psychology Handbook

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582143
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594496 | DOI:

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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.

Keywords: eudaimonism; hedonism; life-satisfaction; well-being; positive psychology

Chapter.  13921 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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