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Raffaele Rodogno

Happiness and Well-Being: Shifting the Focus of the Current Debate

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The point of departure of this paper is the recently emphasised distinction between psychological theories of happiness, on the one hand, and normative theories of well-being, on the other. With this distinction in mind, I examine three possible kinds of relation that might exist between (psychological) happiness and (normative) well-being; to wit, happiness may be understood as playing a central part in (1) a formal theory of well-being, (2) a substantive theory of well-being or (3) as an indicator for well-being. I note that, in the relevant literature, happiness is mostly discussed in terms of either (1) or (2). In this paper, I attempt to motivate a shift of focus away from such accounts of happiness and towards (3), i.e. its epistemic role. When examined in connection to (normative) well-being, (psychological states of) happiness and unhappiness should be understood as psychological states that inform individuals about the contribution of various activities, pursuits, or situations to their well-being or ill-being.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftSouth African Journal of Philosophy
Vol/bind33
Nummer4
Sider (fra-til)433-446
Antal sider14
ISSN0258-0136
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2014

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