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What Is This Thing Called Happiness?$
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Fred Feldman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571178

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571178.001.0001

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(p.160) CHAPTER 8 Eudaimonism
What Is This Thing Called Happiness?

Fred Feldman (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Eudaimonism is the doctrine that welfare tracks happiness. Section 8.2 contains critical discussion of several proposed tests designed to help us to focus on the concept of welfare. The Crib Test and the Sympathy Test are not entirely decisive. Alternatively, we may be able to identify welfare by noting how it fits into a web including such concepts as benefit, harm, self‐interest, prudence, selflessness, altruism, and quality of life. Amartya Sen suggested that when a person's happiness depends upon “desperate survival strategies”, his welfare may be lower than his happiness level. In section 8.3 the objection is critically examined. Another problem for eudaimonism arises in the case of a person whose happiness is “fragmented”. The extent to which the fragmented happiness of such a person constitutes a difficulty for eudaimonism is discussed in section 8.4. Appendix D distinguishes among several different theories that may go by the name ‘eudaimonism’.

Keywords:   eudaimonism, wefare, well‐being, sympathy test, crib test, triangulation, survival strategies, Sen, fragmentation, Sacks

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