Well-being occupies a central role in ethics and political philosophy, including in major theories such as utilitarianism. It also extends far beyond philosophy: recent studies into the science and psychology of well-being have propelled the topic to centre stage, and governments spend millions on promoting it. We are encouraged to adopt modes of thinking and behaviour that support individual well-being or 'wellness'.
What is well-being? Which theories of well-being are most plausible? In this rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the topic, Guy Fletcher unpacks and assesses these questions and many more, including:
- Are pleasure and pain the only things that affect well-being?
- Is desire-fulfilment the only thing that makes our lives go well?
- Can something be good for someone who does not desire it?
- Is well-being fundamentally connected to a distinctive human nature?
- Is happiness all that makes our lives go well?
- Is death necessarily bad for us?
- How is the well-being of a whole life related to well-being at particular times?
Annotated further reading and study and comprehension questions follow each chapter, and a glossary of key terms is also included, making The Philosophy of Well-Being essential reading for students of ethics and political philosophy. This title is also suitable for those in related disciplines such as psychology, politics and sociology.