Seminar on Happiness, Satisfaction, and Subjective Measures of Well-Being

Erik Angner, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Economics at the University of
Alabama at Birmingham, will be giving a seminar on
Happiness, Satisfaction, and Subjective Measures of Well-Being
Monday 28.5.2007, 14-16 at the Department of Social and Moral Philosophy of the University of Helsinki,
Siltavuorenpenger 20 A, lecture room 334d (3rd floor).
Here is the abstract on his paper:


“Subjective measures of well-being, which are based on
answers to questions such as “Taking things all together, how would
you say things are these days – would you say you’re very happy,
pretty happy, or not too happy these days?,” are often presented as
more direct, and therefore superior to, more traditional economic
measures of welfare. This paper explores what account of well-being
is implicit in the literature on subjective measures, and in light of
the analysis, examines some of the claims made for them. I will argue
that the accounts of well-being are best classified as mental state
accounts (though there are potential exceptions); that proponents of
subjective measures appear to disagree among themselves about what
mental state (or states) is (or are) constitutive of well-being;
that, either way, these mental state accounts are implausible as
accounts of well-being; and that as a result, subjective measures
cannot be defended as more direct than other measures. Though I end
up rejecting some of the claims made by proponents of subjective
measures, however, I do not dismiss the use of such measures altogether.”

The full paper is available at:

Erik Angner is currently co-authoring (with George
Loewenstein) a book titled Foundations of Behavioral Economics.


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