Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.771855
Title: The construction of well-being
Author: Mitchell, Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 1101
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
My thesis develops an alternative to orthodox theories of well-being. I argue that well-being is not a property of people or the world that exists separately from attempts to define and measure it. Instead, assessments of well-being are largely shaped by the purposes and interests of the people making the measurement. In part I, I argue that philosophy of well-being should take at face value the variety of ways that well-being is understood and measured. This points towards a pluralist account of well-being. I go on to argue that a theory of well-being is incomplete unless it says something about how to determine the extent to which life is going well for someone. I argue that the identification of well-being in individuals amounts to a form of measurement. Theories of well-being must therefore be theories of the measurement of well-being. In part II, I look closely at three approaches to defining and measuring well-being-in terms of objective goods, preferences, and subjective experience. I argue that, in each case, appraisals of whether someone is doing well or not, and how well they are doing, depend on the context of measurement, the tools used to measure well-being, and the goals and purposes of the people making the assessment. In part III, I propose that well-being should not be treated as a property of people or of the world, but rather something which is largely constructed in the process of measurement. I draw on contemporary model theories of measurement to argue that well-being is best understood as representing a relation between the person whose well-being is being measured, a measuring instrument, and the environment. This relation is modelled by the people who are making the measurement in order to produce information about well-being and ascriptions of well-being are therefore unavoidably attitude dependent.
Supervisor: Wilson, J. ; Weale, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.771855  DOI: Not available
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