An Improved Whole Life Satisfaction Theory of Happiness
Keywords:Happiness, Whole Life Satisfaction, Conditional Fallacy, Advice Model
According to the popular Whole Life Satisfaction theories of happiness, an agent is happy when she judges that her life fulfils her ideal life-plan. Fred Feldman has recently argued that such views cannot accommodate the happiness of spontaneous or preoccupied agents who do not consider how well their lives are going. In this paper, I formulate a new Whole Life Satisfaction theory that is not vulnerable to this objection. My proposal is inspired by Michael Smith’s advice-model of desirability. According to it, an agent is happy when a more informed and rational hypothetical version of her would judge that the agent’s actual life matches the best life-plan for her. I will argue that my new Whole Life Satisfaction theory is a flexible model that canavoid many of the problems besetting previous theories of happiness.
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