An improved whole life satisfaction theory of happiness?

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Fred Feldman

Abstract

Philosophers and others have been captivated by the idea that happiness may be understood to be “satisfaction with life as a whole.” For a person to be happy, according to this idea, is for that person to be satisfied with his or her life as a whole. The view has been developed in a variety of forms, but has been subjected to serious objection in every form. In a paper published in volume 1, number 1 of the International Journal of Wellbeing, Jussi Suikkanen presented what he took to be a new and improved form of Whole Life Satisfactionism. He tried to show that in his formulation, the theory overcomes objections that I have presented elsewhere. In the present paper, after describing the context in which Suikkanen’s proposal appears, I present what I take to be the central point of Suikkanen’s work. I mention some obscurities. I try to show no matter how these obscurities are resolved, the proposed view is still open to objections similar to ones already in the literature.

 

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Author Biography

Fred Feldman, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (retired)

Department of Philosophy Professor Emeritus