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How can we successfully measure well-being through measuring happiness?

Wren-Lewis, Sam Kieran Jonah (2014) How can we successfully measure well-being through measuring happiness? PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis is an investigation into how successfully we can measure wellbeing through measuring happiness. We care about our well-being – how well our lives are going for us. And we often treat happiness as a proxy for well-being in our practical lives. It is no surprise, therefore, that there is a burgeoning field of social science that aims to measure well-being through measuring happiness. There is no consensus in this field, however, over what well-being and happiness are, and how successfully we can measure the former through measuring the latter. It is these issues that I aim to address in this thesis. I will argue in favour of the Indicator View, according to which we should treat happiness as an indicator of local changes in well-being. I will further argue that some of the local changes in well-being indicated by happiness constitute an important aspect of our well-being (what I will call our local well-being). The upshot is that we can measure an important aspect of well-being –namely changes in local well-being – through measuring happiness. This conclusion is directly relevant to the empirical study of well-being for two reasons. First, I will employ an account of happiness that is similar to one of the main constructs used by social scientists in the measurement of wellbeing. Second, my conclusion rests on an understanding of well-being that is consistent with all plausible substantive theories of well-being.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-837-4
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.617312
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2014 11:32
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6885

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