chapter  7
8 Pages

Philosophical taxonomies of well-being

WithSamuel Clark

There are more adequate but less influential attempts at taxonomy in Parfit's style: they add extra taxa, clarify internal distinctions, and move boundaries. This chapter offers some interesting distinctions among theories of well-being, and considers some of the contrasts, relations, and degrees of freedom or constraint on theorizing which they allow to see. It considers a widely used taxonomy of theories of well-being which picks out some important possibilities. The chapter offers a different and more expansive way to map the territory, considers some of the many distinctions and connections among theories, and suggests families of theories of well-being. It shows that suggestion into practice by distinguishing between Empirical and Normative, Descriptive and Revisionary, Reflexive and Non-Reflexive, and Compositional and Additive Theories, and by breaking up the much-used but incoherent subjective/objective distinction into various distinctions. The chapter focuses on questions of Epistemic Authority, Political Authority, and political perfectionism.