Philosophy 153 - 8.4 Well-Being

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe Epicurean hedonism and utilitarianism.
  • Analyze arguments for and against satisfactionism as a determinant of well-being.
  • Identify objective goods that contribute to well-being.
  • Outline different approaches to eudaimonism.

Well-being—or flourishing, as it is sometimes called—is a widely discussed topic in value theory because it helps us to understand what we value and why. The things people value in life—for example, a just society, good health, beautiful art, physical pleasure, and supportive friendships—contribute to their well-being. For some philosophers, well-being determines values. If you want to define whether an action is valuable, you must determine whether it promotes the well-being of a person.

Well-being focuses on what is good for a person, not simply what is good in an abstract sense. It also focuses on intrinsic goods that contribute to a flourishing life. In what follows, you will learn about different concepts of well-being and how they can help you think about what is valuable and good. There are three general ways philosophers approach the value of well-being: (1) pleasure, (2) desire, and (3) objective goods.

This lesson has no exercises.

The content of this course has been taken from the free Philosophy textbook by Openstax